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PSG bounce back from European exit with win over Dijon

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Ligue 1

PSG made four changes to the starting lineup that lost 3-1 at home to Manchester United last Wednesday although Presnel Kimpembe, who conceded a last-gasp penalty via a disputed VAR decision, was retained.

If the French champions needed a gentle return to action they got their wish with struggling Dijon offering little once Marquinhos gave Thomas Tuchel’s side a seventh-minute lead.

Kylian Mbappe doubled their advantage shortly before halftime after good work by Angel di Maria.

Di Maria’s exquisite free kick made it 3-0 five minutes after the interval and Mbappe was denied by the woodwork before Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting rounded off a comfortable night’s work with PSG’s fourth goal in stoppage time.

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PSG sign striker Icardi on permanent deal — Inter

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French champions Paris St Germain have signed striker Mauro Icardi on a permanent deal from Inter Milan, the Serie A club said on Sunday.

Argentine Icardi, 27, joined PSG in September on a season-long loan with a buy-out option.

FC Internazionale Milano announces the transfer of Mauro Icardi to Paris Saint-Germain FC; the striker, born in 1993, has permanently moved to the French club.

“The club thanks the player for the six seasons he spent with us and wishes him the best for his future professional career,” Inter said in a statement.

Icardi scored 20 goals in 31 matches in all competitions before the season was officially concluded on April 30, with 10 games remaining due to the COVID-19 crisis.

He has been competing for a place in the side with Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani, PSG’s all-time top scorer, whose contract expired on June 30

//DCU

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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PSG to be crowned as Ligue 1 champions as standings frozen – report

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Paris St Germain moved within a fingertip of being crowned Ligue 1 champions when the French league recommended to freeze the 2019-20 standings amid the COVID-19 crisis on Thursday, French sports daily L’Equipe reported.

According to the newspaper, the LFP’s board will ratify the recommendation on Thursday afternoon and effectively hand PSG their seventh title in the last eight years.

The decision would mean that second-placed Olympique de Marseille and third-placed Stade Rennais would be in next season’s Champions League with PSG. Lille, Stade de Reims and Nice would qualify for the Europa League.

Amiens and Toulouse would be relegated with Ligue 2 leaders Lorient, and second-placed Lend, promoted to the elite.

“I think we have to accept the decisions that have been taken, in all sports and in all countries,” said PSG defender Thilo Kehrer on the club’s website earlier this week.

“I think the teams that are at the top of their leagues at the moment deserve to be there. If the decision is taken to call an end to the season then the title will be deserved too.”

The LFP was not immediately available for comment.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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PSG launch crowdfunding platform to fight coronavirus

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Paris St-Germain (PSG) on Wednesday said the club was launching a crowdfundng platform to help the local hospitals amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The French champions called on the PSG family to contribute.

“By opening a crowdfunding platform… Paris St-Germain (PSG) is keeping the solidarity momentum toward the caregivers of the Paris and Ile de France (region) hospitals, the volunteers and beneficiaries of the Secours Populaire… and Action against Hunger.

“The club is calling on the whole PSG family to contribute,” the Ligue 1 club said.

PSG, who have already raised 200,000 euros (217,240 dollars) by selling a `Tous Unis’ (All United) jersey, said the club would announce new solidarity measures in the coming days.

On Tuesday, sports daily L’Equipe reported that a French League working group had been discussing wage cuts for Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 players.

But the newspaper said that no final decision had been made yet.

No fewer than 100,000 have been infected, and more than 10,000 have died from the coronavirus in France, where citizens have been confined at home since March 17.

(
Edited By: Debo Oshundun and Olawale Alabi)
(NAN)

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PSG oust Borussia Dortmund to banish last 16 round demons in empty stadium

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Paris St-Germain (PSG) put their UEFA Champions League last 16 round traumas behind them as they beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals. But no fans were in the stadium to witness the achievement.

Having lost 1-2 in the first leg, Neymar and Juan Bernat scored before halftime to secure a 3-2 aggregate win for PSG after a game played behind closed doors.

This was due to the coronavirus, which has infected 2,281 people and killed 48 in France. The result eased painful memories of 2017, when PSG were eliminated 6-5 on aggregate by FC Barcelona after letting slip a 4-0 advantage.

Also, last season they lost to Manchester United on away goals after a 2-0 win at Old Trafford.

The French champions reached the last eight for the first time since 2016 as Borussia Dortmund finished with 10 men following Emre Can’s sending-off in the dying minutes.

Over 3,000 ultra fans gathered near the Parc des Princes before kick-off, after being granted authorisation by the police.

Demonstrations were being considered an exemption to the ban of gatherings of more than 1,000 as French authorities try to contain the coronavirus, which has infected 2,281 people and killed 48.

They lit firework and their chants could be overheard in the stadium before, during, and after the game as the players went to the top of the Auteuil stand to cheer with them.

“Our only virus is Paris SG,” a banner in the empty arena read.

“It was a perfect game,” said centre back Marquinhos, who with Presnel Kimpembe marshalled the PSG defence.

“We now need to keep the same mindset for the remainder of the competition.”

PSG were without captain Thiago Silva, who had not fully recovered from a hamstring injury, while Kylian Mbappe started on the bench after suffering from a sore throat.

The French side dominated possession and had the first clear chance when Edinson Cavani’s cross shot from Di Maria’s through ball was deflected by goalkeeper Roman Buerki.

Neymar put the hosts ahead in the 28th minute as he headed home Angel Di Maria’s free-kick for his 35th goal in 57 matches.

He made his presence count with this, after missing the return leg against Manchester United through injury last season.

Bernat doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time by flicking Sarabia’s attempt past Buerki.

PSG pressed high after the break while Erling Haaland, who scored a double in the first leg, never looked likely to add to his 10 UEFA Champions League goals this season.

Thorgan Hazard and Axel Witsel made way for Julian Brandt and Giovanni Reyna as Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre looked to freshen up his attacking line.

(PSG) were suddenly on the back foot.

A brawl erupted two minutes from time after Can fouled Neymar and pushed the Brazilian to the ground.

Can was sent off while Di Maria picked up a yellow card which means the Argentine will be suspended for the first leg of PSG’s quarter-final.

(Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
(NAN)

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PSG vs Borussia Dortmund match to take place behind closed doors

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This week’s UEFA Champions League clash between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Borussia Dortmund will take place behind closed doors.

The development is due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, the Paris police authority said on Monday.

The game is scheduled for Paris’ Parc des Princes stadium on Wednesday.

It will see hosts PSG go into the second leg fixture 1-2 behind, having lost the first tie in Dortmund.

OLAL

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
(NAN)

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PSG crush 10-man Lyon to reach French Cup final

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Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick as Paris St Germain thrashed 10-man Olympique Lyonnais 5-1 on Wednesday to reach the French Cup final and remain on course for a domestic treble.

Ligue 1 leaders PSG, who will also face Lyon in the League Cup final, prevailed thanks to Mbappe’s treble and goals by Neymar and Pablo Sarabia after Martin Terrier had put the hosts in front early on.

Lyon finished with 10 men after Fernando Marcal was sent off in the 61st minute for picking up a second yellow card, leaving his team to exposed with the scores level at 1-1.

PSG will take on holders Stade Rennais or St Etienne at the Stade de France on April 25.

Terrier put the hosts ahead on 11 minutes when he latched onto Karl Toko-Ekambi’s pass.

Mbappe equalised three minutes later by deflecting in Layvin Kurzawa’s header for his 28th PSG goal of the season in all competitions.

Marcal’s handball earned PSG a penalty and the Brazilian defender his second yellow card.

Neymar converted the spot kick and Mbappe took advantage of PSG’s extra man by adding a third at the end of a dazzling 60-metre run.

Sarabia rubbed salt in Lyon’s wounds with a fourth from close range and his seventh in the competition this season – before Mbappe rounded it off with another goal in stoppage time.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Mbappe masterclass fires PSG to 4-0 win over Dijon

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Leaders Paris St-Germain (PSG) cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Dijon in their Ligue 1 clash at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.

But it was more than just that, with Kylian Mbappe capping a brilliant individual performance by scoring twice and creating another for Mauro Icardi.

With Neymar and Marco Veratti suspended and Thiago Silva missing with injury, PSG got off to a perfect start.

This was when midfielder Pablo Sarabia steered a mis-hit shot from Marquinhos past Runar Runarsson in the third minute to give them the lead.

Mbappe added a second in the 74th minute.

He timed his run perfectly to collect Julian Draxler’s through ball before rounding Runarsson and slotting the ball through the arms of the diving goalkeeper.

The France international then set up Icardi for PSG’s third three minutes later, sliding a perfectly-weighted pass into the path of the Argentinian striker for him to fire the ball home.

The 21-year-old completed his attacking masterclass with a second goal in stoppage time at the end of the game, rifling the ball past the helpless Runarsson to complete the 4-0 rout.

The win took PSG to 68 points from 27 games and restored their lead at the top of the table to 13.

This followed second-placed Olympique de Marseille’s 3-2 win over Nimes on Friday night.

Dijon remain just above the relegation places with 27 points.

In the late kick-offs, Teji Savanier scored twice for Montpellier as they thumped Strasbourg 3-0.

Angers put some daylight between themselves and the relegation zone with a 1-0 win away to Brest.

Bottom side Toulouse slumped to a 2-0 defeat at home against Rennes.

Amiens, who are second from bottom, lost 1-0 at home to Metz, with Farid Boulaya getting on the scoresheet for the visitors.

On the south coast, Monaco were held to a 1-1 draw with Reims.

Wissam Ben Yedder’s first half penalty kick for the home side was cancelled out by a 58thminute equaliser from Hassane Kamara.

(Edited By: Olawale Alabi)

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Neymar sent off as shaky PSG beat Bordeaux in Ligue 1

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Paris St-Germain (PSG) extended their Ligue 1 lead to 13 points with a 4-3 home victory against Girondins de Bordeaux on Sunday.

But it was a match in which the French champions were again exposed at the back and had Neymar sent off.

A Marquinhos double, Edinson Cavani’s 200th PSG goal and a goal by Kylian Mbappe put the capital side on 65 points from 26 games.

But they lost team captain Thiago Silva to a muscle injury and Neymar picked up a straight red card for a late challenge in stoppage time.

Bordeaux, who scored through Hwang Ui-jo, Pablo and Ruben Pardo, are 12th on 35 points.

Third-placed Stade Rennais beat visiting Nimes 2-1 earlier on Sunday to reduce the gap to second-placed Olympique de Marseille to eight points.

Five days after losing 2-1 at Borussia Dortmund in a UEFA Champions League last 16 first leg fixture, PSG did little to reassure their fans.

The players had “Stay Strong China’’ written on their shirts to show their support for the victims of the coronavirus that has killed more than 2,000 people in China.

In a tough first half, Silva limped off the pitch in the 16th minute with a muscle problem and was replaced by Idrissa Gueye.

Hwang headed home from Nicolas de Preville’s corner as the PSG defence were caught off guard in the 18th minute.

The hosts’ all-time best scorer Cavani drew them level with a header from Angel Di Maria’s cross seven minutes later.

They increased the pressure and Cavani hit the woodwork before Mbappe forced Benoit Costil to make a superb save at the half hour.

Marquinhos deflected Di Maria’s free kick with his shoulder to put the home side ahead three minutes into added time in the first half.

Pablo equalised one minute later in farcical fashion, after second-choice Sergio Rico’s clearance from Marco Verratti’s backpass bounced on to Pablo’s knee and into the goal.

PSG, however, accelerated after the break and Marquinhos put the French champions ahead after 63 minutes, poking home the ball after Costil had parried a Cavani header into his path.

Six minutes later, Mbappe doubled the advantage from close range after being set up by Cavani.

PSG were kept on their toes until the final whistle as Pardo found the top corner with a superb strike seven minutes from time.

Neymar was then sent off for a late and rough challenge on Yacine Adli.

OLAL

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)

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Tuchel surprised by PSG players partying after Borussia Dortmund defeat

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Paris St-Germain (PSG) coach Thomas Tuchel said he was surprised to see a video of his players partying two days after they were beaten 2-1 at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.

The loss was in their UEFA Champions League last 16 first leg fixture on Tuesday in Dortmund.

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were among those attending a late party to celebrate the birthdays of Mauro Icardi, Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria.

“I was really surprised yesterday (Friday) afternoon to see that video. Really surprised.

“We talked about it internally and it has to stay within the club,”Tuchel told reporters on Saturday on the eve of their Ligue 1 home game against Girondins de Bordeaux.

PSG lead the standings with 62 points from 25 games, 10 points ahead of second-placed Olympique de Marseille who host Nantes later on Saturday.

The French champions host Borussia Dortmund in the return leg on March 11.

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)

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