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France - Ligue 1
April 27, 2014
• Stade Auguste-Bonal, Montbéliard
Referee: S. Desiage
• Attendance: 19504
Thiago Silva 56' (own goal)
E. Cavani 24'
FT: SCX 1-1 PSG: And the champagne remains on ice! PSG are held by Sochaux in a superb encounter at Stade Bonal. Chances left, right and centre. But it is an important point for Renard's men.
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME: Sochaux 1-1 PSG
90' + 3'
But Corchia's free-kick is blocked by the wall, and the rebound well saved by Sirigu. Seconds remaining, one last attack for PSG!
90' + 2'
Verratti on the counter, but he is expertly dispossessed by Roudet, who leads a strong counter-attack. Thiago Silva upends him, and Sochaux have a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the box.
90' + 1'
Into the first of three additional minutes at Stade Bonal.
SUBSTITUTION - Sochaux: Final change from Herve Renard. Razak Boukari comes on for Jordan Ayew.
Corchia dispossessed by Verratti, who leads the race forward. Space opening up for Pastore to run into, but he is in turn barged away by Stoppila Sunzu.
Cavani repelled by an efficient Sochaux defence, but PSG maintain possession of the ball. They're finding it increasingly difficult to penetrate a solid back four. Impressive stuff.
SINKALA! Just wide. The Zambian midfielder attempts an effort from distance with his right foot, but curls it narrowly wide of Sirigu's left post.
PASTORE! Lovely save from Pele. Tame shot in the end from the Argentine, who opts to shoot rather than build on a promising move. Less than five minutes to go.
But for Herve Renard's men, a draw may still not be enough. It would leave them four points from safety with just three games to go. It would require a gargantuan effort, but they face Evian on the final day of the season.
And the chances begin to fade for Paris Saint-Germain, who have eight minutes to find a goal if they want to pop open the champagne today. Sochaux offering brilliant resilience at the moment.
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Javier Pastore on for Lucas Moura.
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Ezequiel Lavezzi is off for Jeremy Menez. It was Menez's late goal that sealed the 2013 Ligue 1 title against Lyon. Can he make it two in a row?
Yellow Card Thiago Motta
YELLOW CARD - Thiago Motta: The midfielder is booked, for the seventh time this season - due to dissent.
Poor communication at the back, and PSG survive once more. Corner from Sochaux wreaks havoc in the box as Sirigu rushes out to claim, but Alex gets there first, heading it behind his own goal in the process.
Just under 15 minutes to go here, can we see a late goal? PSG scored in the 89th minute to win an otherwise dour game against Evian TG on Wednesday evening.
CAVANI! At the other end, PSG miss a golden chance. End-to-end display at Stade Bonal, what a game! The Uruguayan striker skips past Sunzu, but with the goalkeeper coming out he attempts to curl it into the top corner, but it is over!
AYEW! THERE WAS THE CHANCE FOR SOCHAUX! Superb move, at blistering counter-attacking speed. It's three v three, as Ayew picks out Bakambu at the far post unopposed, but he misses his strike. Surely, it should've been 2-1 here.
SUBSTITUTION - Sochaux: It is Roy Contout who is being sacrificed in place of Bakambu.
Herve Renard making Sochaux's first change of the game. It will be an attacking one, as striker Cedric Bakambu prepares his entrance.
CORCHIA! Over the bar. The chances keep on coming, but they are not being taken. Contout locates Corchia with a fine pass, but the right-back rushes his effort and sees it sailing over the bar.
AYEW! And it is Sochaux who spurn a fantastic opportunity at the other end. Roudet makes good progress from the left, and his cross is picked up by the on-loan Marseille striker, who powers his header narrowly over the bar.
VERRATTI! And again it is a wondrous save by Yohann Pele! Superb delivery from Van der Wiel, perfectly weighted from the right. Towards Verratti who is unmarked, but a superb unorthodox save sees Pele divert it behind with his knees!
LUCAS! And it is spurned once again! The Brazilian picks up the pass and moves into a central position, but he fires it wide by a whisker!
CAVANI! Really opening up now. Fascinating to watch as Cavani skips past a defender in the box, but is denied by a double save from Yohann Pele in the Sochaux goal. Meanwhile, the hosts counter, but Prcic again diverts it wide.
Paris Saint-Germain have a chance to relieve some of the pressure here from a corner, but the capital club are penalised after a push by Cavani in the middle of the box.
PRCIC! PSG are almost completely rattled here. Contout picks out Ayew, who tees up the oncoming Bosnian midfielder, but Prcic slams it narrowly wide of goal.
Silva's own goal means that as it stands, PSG cannot claim the title today. They need three points to take an unassailable lead. But it is all les Lionceaux at the moment.
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Marco Verratti replaces Yohan Cabaye.
Own Goal Thiago Silva
GOAL! Sochaux 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain -- Own goal by Thiago Silva, not that he knew much about that! Ayew with a superb backheel, allowing Florian Marange to drill in a cross on the overlap, and after Sirigu palms it away, it slams off the chest of an unwitting Silva and into the net.
Paris Saint-Germain readying a substitution to add some steel to a flagging midfield. They've started the second half in almost nonchalant form, with the defence being overworked.
PSG on the back foot, as les Lionceaux are awarded a corner. Delivered in towards the centre, but too close to Sirigu who claims the ball.
Sochaux seeing much more of the ball, and the chances are opening up. Roy Contout shows quick feet to bamboozle the PSG defence, but eventually, the referee awards a free-kick the other way, after a push.
Sochaux on the ball now as Prcic picks out Faussurier on the right. The young midfielder races forward into the box, as Faussurier returns the favour with a delicate cross, but Sirigu claims, via a knock-back by Thiago Silva.
Cabaye is threatening, but his speculative cross into the box is dealt with by goalkeeper Yohann Pele. A much more subdued start in comparison to the first half.
Free-kick awarded to Paris Saint-Germain, after Thiago Motta is upended by Prcic.
UNDERWAY in the second half at Stade Bonal. In 45 minutes, the visitors could be Champions of France.
HT: SCX 0-1 PSG - the champions-elect lead at the interval, following Cavani's 24th minute strike. Sochaux rallied, and saw their best chance fall just before half-time when Roudet's effort was blocked by Sirigu. Should they have had a penalty? Perhaps.
HALF-TIME: FC Sochaux-Montbeliard 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain
45' + 1'
PENALTY? NO! In the first minute of injury time, Sinkala's attempted shot strikes off Edinson Cavani's arm. Clear as day, but the referee whistles - for half-time!
ROUDET! Wonderful save from Sirigu. PSG survive a major scare at the back as a ball into the box causes confusion after Ayew's backheel opens up the chance for Roudet. The midfielder is denied by Sirigu's sprawling save, and Corchia cannot gain the ball on the rebound!
Yellow Card Nathan Sinkala
Laurent Blanc looks on satisfied with his charges' first-half exploits. But Sochaux have rarely troubled since Corchia's efforts in the first five minutes or so.
YELLOW CARD - Nathan Sinkala is booked for a rash challenge on Lucas Moura. He is the first man in the book.
The hosts look rattled, and les Parisiens remain focused on sitting on their one goal lead. As it stands, they would be 10 points clear of Monaco, with three games to go. Unassailable.
Foul from Florian Marange on Ezequiel Lavezzi - and the referee awards a free-kick to the visitors.
Good move from PSG, but the final ball lets them down. Cavani runs at the Sochaux defence, picking out Lucas Moura on the right. Over-hit cross means Matuidi struggles to maintain the move, and PSG are forced back.
Paris Saint-Germain looking to consolidate possession for the time being, as they assert their midfield dominance at Stade Bonal. The hosts are struggling to just recover the ball.
Lucas Moura struggling in the finishing department it seems. Thiago Silva pings a superb ball over the top towards the edge of the penalty box. Moura shows expert control, but strikes well wide.
Sochaux are on the ropes here, 1-0 down and a sequence of hapless defending from Sunzu and Kante seeing them struggle in the last 15 minutes or so. PSG have the firepower to punish them.
LAVEZZI! Over the bar. Sochaux rattled after Sunzu fails to clear the ball, and Lavezzi takes the advantage. But he loses a bit of composure when striking, and fires the ball over the bar!
OUCH! Lucas Moura is involved in a collision with Yohann Pele, but the referee doesn't award anything. Bizarre that, but play continues in the meantime.
PSG looking for their second, as Cavani races forward on the right. But a touch off the defender sees the visitors win a corner for their efforts.
And it is Paris Saint-Germain who strike the first blow in the match which could see them seal the title. What can Herve Renard's Sochaux offer, after such a positive opening?
Assist Thiago Motta
Goal Edinson Cavani
GOAL! Sochaux 0-1 PSG - CAVANI! The striker opens the scoring, and what a goal it is! Thiago Motta's pass oozes class, lifted into the path of the Uruguayan, who gets in between the two centre-backs. Into Cavani who chests and strikes a volley into the net.
Halfway through the first period at Stade Auguste Bonal, and we've had chances at both ends, but it is the visitors who have come closest in the last few moments. Will their dominance count?
LUCAS MOURA! Cleared off the line! Wonderful delivery from the corner, and it picks out Moura unmarked at the back, but the Brazilian's header is cleared off the line by Faussurier!
CAVANI! What a strike! Stoppila Sunzu is caught in possession, and the Uruguayan promptly sends a powerful strike towards goal, which is tipped over by Pele.
LUCAS! Over the bar. Lovely move from PSG, as Moura turns on the pace, cutting in from the right. After evading his marker, he picks out Cabaye arriving on the edge, but the midfielder strikes high.
The onus is on Sochaux to claim victory here, as they seek to close the five-point gap with Evian TG, who lost 1-0 to PSG on Wednesday, and sit in 17th.
VAN DER WIEL! Over the bar. The ball finds its way to the Dutchman, arriving on the right hand side of the penalty box, but he fires it over. No problem for Pele.
Faussurier under constant pressure from Edinson Cavani, who latches onto a half-chance in the penalty box, but the full-back gets the ball away well. Nevertheless, the Parisiens remain on the counter.
PSG have historically found it difficult to win at Stade Bonal. A 1-0 win over Sochaux in 2011 - just before Carlo Ancelotti was appointed, was sandwiched in between a 3-1 and 3-2 reverse, the latter of which came in this fixture last season.
Lull in tempo now as the visitors begin to calm and slow down the play following that blistering start from the relegation-threatened hosts. Maxwell on the ball down the left, now.
All Sochaux at the moment, as PSG are hassled and harried off of the ball. Roy Contout in off the left dispossesses Van der Wiel, but his delivery into the ball is tipped away by Sirigu.
PSG have work to do here. The corner is good from Roudet, but punched away by Sirigu. Claimed by Sinkala, who feeds Faussurier on the right once more, cleared again.
Energetic start from both sides. Corchia drives forward, with Faussurier arriving on the overlap. Speculative cross from Corchia into the box, and it is turned behind by Thiago Silva.
Big scare from Paris Saint-Germain! Lavezzi is denied by an oustretched leg from Pele, but the loose ball is picked up by Cabaye who heads towards Cavani. The ball is headed off the line by Faussurier.
Lucas Moura goes over in the penalty box, but referee Sebastien Desiage says nothing doing, as Sochaux continue their strong start, but les Parisiens are beginning their charge.
A few early jitters from PSG, as Sirigu dangerously lifts the ball over Jordan Ayew, who was providing the pressure up front. Sirigu doesn't get the required height on the ball, and it is cleared.
Early chance for Sebastian Corchia, who strikes high after feeding onto a speculative ball into the box. The right-back has three goals since his abortive move to Lille in January was cancelled by the French National Olympic Committee.
Underway in Montbeliard as Paris Saint-Germain start the match, needing three points to claim the Ligue 1 title. It starts here and now.
On the final day of the 2007-08 Ligue 1 season, PSG travelled to Sochaux in a similarly important encounter. If they failed to win, they would've been relegated for the first time in their history. Amara Diane's 83rd minute goal clinched a 2-1 win, and well - they've never looked back!
SOCHAUX: Pelé – Faussurier, Sunzu, Kanté, Marange – Sinkala, Prcic – Corchia, Roudet, Contout – J.Ayew
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN: Sirigu, VdWiel, Alex, Thiago Silva, Maxwell; Motta, Cabaye, Matuidi; Lucas Moura, Cavani, Lavezzi
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Elsewhere in Ligue 1 this weekend, managerless Marseille continued to stutter, drawing 1-1 with FC Nantes. Valenciennes are all but relegated following a 0-1 defeat in the six-pointer clash against Guingamp. Already relegated Ajaccio suffered a 1-4 reverse to AS Monaco.
With three wins in their last six and key goals from defenders Stoppila Sunzu and Sebastien Corchia, les Lionceaux will be hoping for similar results against the champions-elect today. It is a huge game for both sides.
But for Herve Renard's Sochaux, the stakes are just as big. Win today, and they'll not only delay PSG's title celebrations for another week, but they'll move to within two points of safety, and a real chance of survival - something that was unthinkable in February.
Les Parisiens, who won the Coupe de la Ligue last weekend, can win the double for the first time under the QSI project, and will see Laurent Blanc exceed Carlo Ancelotti's haul at the Parc des Princes. It's been a good season, by all measures in the capital.
It's a huge game in Montbeliard this afternoon, where Laurent Blanc's men are 90 minutes away from only their fourth Ligue 1 title in history, and the chance to become the first team to defend the championship since Lyon in 2008.
Good afternoon, and welcome to live Ligue 1 coverage from Stade Auguste Bonal, where Paris Saint-Germain take on FC Sochaux Montbeliard on a day where they can clinch their second consecutive Ligue 1 title.
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