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12 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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PSG ease pain of Real defeat

AFP

AFP, Paris: Paris Saint-Germain brushed aside bottom club Metz 5-0 in Ligue 1 on Saturday to ease some of the pain of their Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid in midweek.

Twenty-year-old Christopher Nkunku scored twice for PSG at the Parc des Princes, with Thomas Meunier, Kylian Mbappe and Thiago Silva also on target.

The result restores PSG’s 14-point lead over reigning champions Monaco at the top of the table with just nine games left, keeping them on course to reclaim the title.

A clean sweep of the domestic trophies for the third time in four seasons is on the cards, although that will not completely make up for the disappointment of another underwhelming campaign in the Champions League.

Tuesday’s 2-1 home defeat against Madrid condemned them to a second consecutive exit from that competition in the last 16 and effectively ended any prospect of Spanish coach Unai Emery still being in charge next season.

Emery, who was jeered by some sections of the home support, had to somehow lift his side for this game, with PSG missing suspended leading scorer Edinson Cavani as well as the injured Neymar.

“Everyone knows that we are disappointed, that we disappointed the fans, but we are trying to move forward again,” said Mbappe.

Belgian right-back Meunier, who came in for Dani Alves and opened the scoring inside five minutes, added, “It was an excellent reaction after the elimination.

“It is very positive. Mentally it does us good, and it allows us to put Tuesday almost definitively behind us.

He was unlucky not to get a hat-trick, a header from Angel di Maria's cross on the stroke of half-time disallowed for a marginal offside call.

However, Mbappe did make it 4-0 before the interval by scoring after being set up by Marco Verratti. Captain Silva headed in late on to complete the scoring, as Paris maintained their perfect record at home in the league this season.

Second-placed Monaco won 3-1 at Strasbourg on Friday with Stevan Jovetic, Rony Lopes and Fabinho getting their goals.

Third-placed Marseille go to Toulouse and fourth-placed Lyon host Caen on Sunday.

Elsewhere, at least a hundred angry Lille supporters invaded the pitch at their Stade Pierre-Mauroy after their struggling side drew 1-1 at home to Montpellier.

Some of the pitch invaders tried to attack players, including the young forward Nicolas Pepe, who had scored their goal, before making their way towards the players tunnel, below where club directors were watching on.

Stewards eventually managed to keep back the supporters, who are unhappy at the way their team's season is going -- Lille are in the relegation zone, with Christophe Galtier struggling to turn around the fortunes of the side after Marcelo Bielsa was sacked late last year.

“We understand the reaction but we cannot accept players being assaulted,” said Lille's Yassine Benzia.

“There is a line that should not be crossed. I was in the dressing room and there were frightened players in there.”

Nantes moved back up to fifth, which is likely to be enough for a European place, after beating Troyes 1-0 with a late Emiliano Sala goal, his 12th of the season.

They replace local rivals Rennes, who came from behind to draw 1-1 with Saint-Etienne.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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