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France - Ligue 1
April 5, 2014
• Parc des Princes, Paris
Referee: L. Duhamel
• Attendance: 46440
E. Cavani 43'
A. Mandi 48' (own goal), 89' (own goal)
FT: PSG 2-0 SDR - in the end, it was an easy win for the champions. They go on to face Chelsea in the best possible shape, especially with the core of their side having been rested. In domestic terms, it puts them on the brink. A disappointing afternoon from Hubert Fournier's side.
90' + 2'
FULL-TIME: PSG 3-0 Stade de Reims.
90' + 1'
PSG play Lyon next weekend at Stade Gerland, before facing the same opposition in the Coupe de la Ligue final at the Stade de France the week after on April 19. It's a blockbuster month for les Parisiens, but they seem to be negotiating it well.
TWO added minutes at the end of the second half.
Own Goal Aissa Mandi
GOAL!! PSG 3-0 Reims - MANDI OWN GOAL....AGAIN! What a strike from the defender, who launches it into his own net after an innocuous through ball from the right. It's been all plain sailing for the hosts.
PSG will go 16 points clear of AS Monaco, who play FC Nantes in Sunday night's feature game of the weekend. The much-changed side have comfortably negotiated a way past Reims, who could be leapfrogged later tonight.
DEVAUX! Reims are restricted to striking the ball from a considerable distance, and that is the situation here once again. Lay off by Krychowiak, but the midfielder hits it well wide.
Digne is back up and chasing the loose pass, but runs it out of play. Unsportingly, he leaves it at a distance for Mandi to reclaim, bringing a complaint from the Reims full-back.
Yellow Card Odaïr Fortes
YELLOW CARD - Odair Fortes: Another rash challenge from the winger, this time on Digne,and he becomes the second man in the book.
SUBSTITUTION - Reims: Prince Oniangue is replaced by Gaetan Courtet.
SUBSTITUTION - Reims: Floyd Ayite is replaced by Diego Rigonato
It is still early, but PSG could mathematically win the Ligue 1 title next weekend. Should Monaco lose tonight, and next week to Rennes, PSG would wrap up the title at Stade Gerland against Lyon next Sunday night, just like in 2013.
PENALTY? NO says Laurent Duhamel, and the jeers commence. Must say, that it appeared a certain spot-kick after Lavezzi was upended by Tacalfred, but the referee waves play on.
And it is a poor one, cleared at the first hurdle by the visitors. PSG are 14 minutes away from a victory that would move them on the brink of defending their Ligue 1 title.
Free-kick to Paris Saint-Germain near the corner flag, after Digne was upended by Odair Fortes. Lavezzi over it...
It is Ongenda again, who makes headway down the left flank. Another cross into the centre, Tacalfred is on hand to divert the ball away from danger.
RABIOT! What a chance, and a great save by Agassa. The youngsters combine as substitute Ongenda sets his team-mate through with a fabulous pass. Rabiot laces it, but Agassa is equal to it.
SUBSTITUTION - Paris Saint-Germain: Hervin Ongenda replaces Lucas Moura.
Entering the final 20 minutes of the game. Lavezzi races down the right wing, picks out Lucas arriving in the centre. Cavani is tackled by Tacalfred, but Cabaye, onto the loose ball, strikes wide.
N. de Préville
Yellow Card Grzegorz Krychowiak
SUBSTITUTION - Reims: Nicolas de Preville is replaced by Gaetan Charbonnier.
YELLOW CARD - Krychowiak. The midfielder is booked for his third challenge, this time on Lucas Moura. The first caution of the game.
MANDI! Another chance goes begging for the visitors. Lovely delivery by Ayite, as Mandi rises highest. This time, with Sirigu beaten, it rises just above the crossbar!
Gregory van der Wiel
SUBSTITUTION - Paris Saint-Germain: Ezequiel Lavezzi comes on for Edinson Cavani.
SUBSTITUTION - Paris Saint-Germain: Zoumana Camara has replaced Gregory van der Wiel.
De Preville chases a loose ball forward as Sirigu lears under pressure. But now, Paris Saint-Germain can bring on their substitutions. It will be a double change.
Brief break in play as Rabiot feels the pain after a rash challenge. The 18-year-old appears a little dazed, but will continue. He plays the pass forward for Cavani, who is out-jumped by Mandi, who brings the ball away for his side.
PSG beginning to ready a few substitutions, with Lavezzi finalising his warm-up routine. On the field, Van der Wiel is pegged back by an offside flag, as he seeks to latch onto Cavani's through ball.
Reims have a corner as we hit the hour mark. Delivered in deep by Ayite, but with too much power as the ball goes behind for a throw-in.
Cabaye picks up the loose ball after a lay-off from Menez. Looking down, he strikes low, but it is well wide of Agassa's goal. Didn't have a look up to check his options.
Reims beginning to implode defensively, but they go forward in search of their first goal. Oniangue picks out Krychowiak who strikes from distance. His effort is well blocked by his own team-mate.
CAVANI! Oh what a chance. Cabaye forward, towards Lucas who picks up a fine pass towards Cavani. The striker gets in the middle of the two defenders, but slams his effort wide.
Menez not enjoying himself. Seems frustrated by an offside decision, which in truth, could've easily been avoided. Has Digne running alongside him, but the play is pulled back for the offside on Digne.
PSG turning on the style. Lucas hits the home straight on the right, before pausing and holding up the play. Delivers in the cross for Menez in the middle, but it is taken well by Agassa.
Free-kick to Reims. Delivered in well by Floyd Ayite, as Aissa Mandi gets up forward, but heads the ball wide. Not a good effort from the defender.
A quickfire goal from the champions, who have started so positively in the second period. Reims break through Oniangue, who picks out Krychowiak. The Polish midfielder strikes from distance, well blocked by Marquinhos.
Own Goal Aissa Mandi
GOAL!! PSG 2-0 Reims - PSG hit the ground running in the second half. Digne's cross is headed in by Lucas Moura, but it takes a touch off Aissa Mandi en route into the back of the net. Own goal it is.
WE ARE UNDERWAY in the second half. No changes at the break.
HT: PSG 1-0 SDR - All a walk in the Parc for PSG. Despite entertainment coming at a premium, they've dominated Reims for the majority of the first half. Edinson Cavani's 43rd minute goal settles the two sides.
HALF-TIME: Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 Stade de Reims
Ibrahimovic gives some warm applause to his team-mate, who hits 15 league goals this campaign. Cavani will be leading the line in London on Tuesday, so it is all re-assuring for the champions.
Assist Gregory van der Wiel
Goal Edinson Cavani
GOAL! PSG 1-0 REIMS - CAVANI! The Uruguayan opens the scoring after a fine move. Pastore opens it up for Van der Wiel on the overlap. Low cross in is helped on by Tacalfred, who takes it away from Agassa's reach and into Cavani's path. He subsequently taps it in.
Coming upto the end of the first half, and PSG have a massive 69% of possession in the first half. They're on the break through Gregory van der Wiel on the right.
Not that the PSG substitutes care about the hosts' inability to break down a stubborn Reims defence. Ezequiel Lavezzi and co. crack a couple of jokes on the bench. Meanwhile, Pastore wins a free-kick after a challenge by Odair Fortes.
Pretty sterile first half at the Parc des Princes, and we are no sooner to the first goal as Pastore attempts to latch onto a loose pass, but is denied by Agassa.
Jeremy Menez, who hasn't had a decent game, wastes a fine attacking chance. Not on the same wavelength with his team-mates, as the ball goes back to the goalkeeper.
PENALTY? NO says the referee. Lucas Moura hits the burners once more, and he is brought down in the box as Agassa rushes out to claim the ball. Laurent Duhamel waves play on.
RABIOT! From distance, and it's not too far away. The 18-year-old has a pop after space opens up through the middle, but it doesn't trouble Kossi Agassa.
Van der Wiel combines with Lucas who has come into the right flank, but the Dutchman fails to follow the run, hitting the pass out for a throw-in.
Lucas Digne comes forward, picks out Cabaye who attempts to slide a through ball for Cavani. Cut out by Tacalfred once again. Reims working hard to nullify their hosts.
Free header from Thiago Silva from a corner, but the Brazil captain has directed it well wide. Poor attempt from the centre-back, who dons his mask for the second time.
Cavani drops deeper to lift the ball over Mandi and into the path of Lucas Moura. Most of the action is situated on the far left side for PSG, but Oniangue tracks back to see the ball to safety.
Ibrahimovic watches intently in the stands, as he props up one of his young sons who has dozed off! To be fair, not the best of openings by Paris Saint-Germain who are looking to bide their time.
FORTES! A rare chance for the visitors. Catches out Sirigu as he strikes goalwards from distance. A fantastic attempt, but it shaves the crossbar. Dangerous chance!
Agassa solid on the line. Lucas Moura carves out the defence, changing track and bamboozling the defender, before passing forward for Digne. The Reims goalkeeper rushes out to claim the ball.
And again, as Pastore nudges a fine delicate pass forward for Cavani, but the defender is aware,and clears the danger. The former Palermo man is exuding confidence at the moment.
Mandi struggling on the far side. Much of PSG's attacking ventures coming in from the left. Pastore spreads the defence, and provides a through ball towards Lucas Digne, but it is just too heavy.
Reims struggling to contend with the threat of Lucas and Cavani in these opening stages. Struggling on the wings at the moment, though Tacalfred and Weber are proving solid at the moment.
CAVANI! Lovely save from Agassa. Krychowiak fails to track the run of the striker from the corner. Cavani connects with the ball well, but the goalkeeper claws it away from the line.
CAVANI! Nice attempt from the hosts. Fantastic ball from Rabiot in deep who lofts the ball over the defence and into the Uruguayan's pass. Tacalfred quick to deny the striker, as the ball goes behind for a corner.
Rabiot and Digne combine, but the latter attempts to be just a little too clever as Floyd Ayite intercepts and leads his side into attack. Links well with a team-mate, but the cross in is too close to Sirigu, who claims yet again.
Lucas is really causing some problems down the right wing. His pace catches out the visitors, as he strides down the flank. Drilled in cross down low, but Weber clears the danger.
Ten minutes gone at the Parc des Princes. Lucas Moura races forward, attempting to carve out a chance, but he is clipped by Antoine Devaux, who is reprimanded by the referee.
First corner for the opposition as Oniangue races forward. Buys a corner off Thiago Silva, who deflects the innocuous ball out behind. Reims have a decent chance here, but it is easily claimed by an unchallenged Salvatore Sirigu.
In fact, it's Lucas Digne who has a pop with his left foot. Strikes it with power, but slams the effort into the wall, as Reims clear accordingly.
Free-kick to PSG. Lucas Moura absolutely bamboozles two defenders, but Krychowiak upends the tricky Brazilian, as the hosts pick up a fine opportunity just outside the box. Cavani over it.
Subdued start at Le Parc. PSG content to just sit back and not exert themselves in the early stages. Have rarely ventured out of their own half in the last few moments.
The injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic watches on with his two children in the director's box at the Parc des Princes. Will he be able to finish the season with the club? Unlikely. Reims break through Tacalfred, but Silva breaks it up well.
Lovely start from Jeremy Menez, who makes only his second start in the league since the New Year. His contract ends in the summer, as the winger cannot beat his marker, with the ball running out of play.
C'est parti! We are underway at the Parc des Princes, as PSG seek to move further ahead of Monaco at the top of the table. They attack from left to right.
It's a superb afternoon in Paris, and the sun is shining. Can PSG move closer towards the Ligue 1 title? We'll soon see. The teams are out. Kick-off imminent.
PSG field a much changed side, as Javier Pastore, the hero in midweek with his stunning injury time goal, replaces Marco Verratti who is suspended. Indeed, the entire midfield is rested, as Yohan Cabaye and Adrien Rabiot are given starts. Maxwell, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Christophe Jallet are also replaced.
STADE DE REIMS : Agassa - Signorino, Tacalfred (c), Mandi, Weber - Krychowiak, Devaux, Oniangue, Fortes, De Preville - Ayité.
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN : Sirigu - Thiago Silva (c), Marquinhos, Van der Wiel, Digne - Cabaye, Rabiot, Pastore - Ménez, Lucas, Cavani.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Nevertheless, Reims' European hopes look to be fading. Fournier's men have not won in four games, and haven't picked up a point away since a victory over Guingamp in mid-February.
Stade de Reims meanwhile are the high-flyers in Ligue 1, there's no doubt about that. Hubert Fournier's side sit seventh, four points behind Marseille who beat Ajaccio 3-1 last night. Reims managed to beat the champions in March of last year.
PSG will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the best part of a month, with the Swede suffering a muscle injury against the Blues. Blanc had confirmed yesterday, that the striker's season is in doubt, giving a time-frame of between 4-8 weeks.
The French champions meanwhile are 13 points clear with seven games to go. Should Monaco lose their next two games, and les Parisiens pick up maximum points, the capital club could wrap up their fourth title next week in Lyon - the scene of their 2013 triumph.
PSG are still riding the wave following their marvellous 3-1 win over Chelsea FC in the Champions League quarter-final first leg. The job is only half-done however, so expect a much changed PSG side as Laurenet Blanc seeks to rest his stars ahead of the return in London.
Good afternoon, and welcome to live coverage of the Ligue 1 clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Stade de Reims at the Parc des Princes. I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be bringing you the action today.
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