Nicolas Pepe and Lille extend Choupo-Moting's wait for a career-first title

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The 30-year-old had fluffed the chance to secure the first silverware in his career, and on Sunday, his African counterpart extended his wait for one

Nicolas Pepe led Lille to a 5-1 thrashing of Paris Saint-Germain, thus, extending their - and Eric Choupo-Moting's - wait to be crowned Ligue 1 champion.

Last week, PSG were a win away from securing the French top-flight silverware but passed on the opportunity after Strasbourg held them to a 2-2 draw.

More intriguing was the manner at which they gave up the chance, with striker Choupo-Moting inexplicably missing an open net.

However, Sunday's encounter against second-placed Lille presented another chance to clinch the title again with just a point against their hosts enough. But the Parisians were humiliated 5-1, with Pepe scoring what was the winning goal while Choupo-Moting watched the entirety of the game from the sidelines.

Thomas Tuchel's side had started on the wrong foot as Thomas Meunier scored a seventh-minute own goal. However, Juan Bernat set them level four minutes later but the Spaniard saw a straight red card in the 36th minute to leave his team a man short.

Few minutes after the restart, Pepe strode past PSG's backline to help Lille retake the lead with a record-levelling 19th league goal of the season before Jonathan Bamba struck a third.

The Cote d'Ivoire international then provided assists for Gabriel and José Fonte's goals to cap off an impressive performance at Stade Pierre Mauroy, and deny his Cameroonian counterpart a career-first honour.

Choupo-Moting, 30, started his career in Germany - where he was born - playing with for likes of Hamburg, Mainz 05 and Schalke 04 before moving to England to play for Stoke City in the Premier League, and has never won a title in his senior career.

After the Potters' relegation to the Championshipa last season, he made a surprise move to the French champions ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

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The former Germany U21 striker has made 18 appearances for the Parisians, scoring thrice.

Despite the gap between PSG and Lille closed to 17 points, the former have a third chance to seal league triumph - and their Cameroon international's first silverware - provided they grab at least a draw against Nantes in Wednesday's league fixture.

 

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