Lorient downs defending French League champions PSG
PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain will have to work harder — much harder — for a record 11th French league title after Lorient stunned the defending champions 3-1 on Sunday.
Second-place Marseille rallied past Auxerre 2-1 to cut PSG’s lead to five points with five games remaining.
“The title is in our hands, we mustn’t let it go like this, especially with such games at home. We must show more than that at home,” PSG defender Marquinhos told Canal Plus television. “We were not good in the duels, we were always late. In the rough moments, we mustn’t concede goals.”
PSG supporters were unhappy with the players’ lack of effort and booed them off the field at halftime and again after the final whistle.
The hosts were down to 10 men after Achraf Hakimi received a second yellow card for a stamp on Darlin Yongwa in the 20th minute. The Morocco right back also got booked for a late tackle on Romain Faivre in the fifth minute.
Lorient capitalized on a spell of possession to take the lead in the 15th with a sliding effort from Enzo Le Fee into the roof of the net.
Kylian Mbappe equalized with a poacher’s goal in the 29th when Yvon Mvogo had a lapse in concentration. The Lorient goalkeeper put the ball on the ground, thinking he had a free kick, but the referee had only waved to play on. Mbappe happily took a touch before tucking into an empty net to consolidate his spot as the top scorer in the league with 23 goals.
Faivre exposed the weakness of PSG in the 39th by strolling past Marco Verratti and Juan Bernat to cut the ball back for Yongwa, who slotted home for a 2-1 lead.
Substitute Bamba Dieng sealed the win by converting a rebound after a counterattack in the 88th.
PSG also produced unconvincing team performances in the past couple of games but was saved by the brilliance of Lionel Messi and Mbappe.
“We have too many players in this second half of the season who perform below par,” PSG coach Christophe Galtier said.
Lorient snapped a five-game winless streak to remain in the middle of the table.
Meanwhile, Marseille striker Alexis Sanchez scored the winner by beating the offside trap to fire through the legs of goalkeeper Ionut Radu in the 77th.
Birama Toure volleyed home from the edge of the box to put Auxerre ahead in the 33rd before Marseille winger Cengiz Under leveled with an angled strike in the 75th.
HEAVY LOSS FOR MONACO
Arnaud Nordin notched two goals and an assist as Monaco’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League took a hit after a 4-0 loss to Montpellier.
Fourth-place Monaco occupies the Europa League spot, five points behind Lens which has a game in hand, while Montpellier earned three precious points in its fight for safety to move 11 points above the relegation zone.
“We’ve been playing for the podium so far and it’s still possible if we turn things around. But we must act quickly,” Monaco coach Philippe Clement said.
Belgium international Jeremy Doku netted the last two goals to give Rennes a 4-2 win over bottom side Angers, officially relegated to the second division. Rennes stayed in the race for European spots, trailing fifth-place Lille by three points.
Forward Grejohn Kyei scored the lone goal as Clermont edged Reims 1-0 to climb to eighth place. Clermont also officially secured safety with that fifth straight win.
Nice beat relegation-threatened Troyes 1-0 with a goal from Hicham Boudaoui to snap a three-game losing streak.
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