PSG’s grip on Ligue 1 title race slips up in Rennes

An up and down season for PSG may have just got worse as they have swung the pendulum back into the hands of Lille.

Neymar JR of PSG

After losing both legs against Manchester City in the Champions League, making it 4-1 to City overall, an exit from the biggest European competition in the world seemed to be the end of the road for PSG.

However, attentions turned to the league where they were still in with a chance of lifting the trophy, although they would need to pass first placed Lille to get there.

 

By the time PSG kicked a ball in their fixture, they were four points behind Lille, who managed to extend their lead after a 3-0 win against Lens thanks to a brace from Turkish striker Burak Yilmaz and a Jonathan David goal to wrap up the win.

So, PSG knew they needed a win to keep firmly in the race for the Ligue 1 title. And they did it by stepping out with a team that did not have the suspended Mbappe in, yet you still expected them to go and get the job done.

But unfortunately for PSG, they did not realise that Rennes were ready for battle and were not going to be walked over.

It was only because of a controversial penalty decision that Neymar slotted away, that put PSG 1-0 up on the stroke of half time, which Rennes goalkeeper Gomis got a touch on but could not keep out.

Rennes came out battling harder in the second half though and got their reward when Serhou Guirassy equalised with 20 minutes to play.

PSG didn’t really create many clear-cut chances and a number of tactical substitutions were made by Pochettino with the Coupe de France semi-final no doubt in the back of his mind.

Rennes actually came close to getting a winner after PSG lost the battle yet again with their disciplinary record, as Kimpembe saw red for the fourth time in his career. But luckily for PSG it didn’t affect them much being down to 10 men and both teams would take away a share of the spoils

And so, three points separate PSG in second and Lille in first, with only two games to go. And out of Lille’s remaining fixtures against 11th placed St Etienne and 12th placed Angers, they need just one win to claim the Ligue 1 trophy. While PSG have a Coupe de France semi-final to contest against Montpellier before they face 13th placed Reims and 14th placed Brest in their remaining fixtures.

If they do not get their hands on Ligue 1, all will not be lost if they overcome Montpellier, they will then face off against either Rumilly Vallieres or Monaco in the final, who play each other in the other tie.

Failing to win both the Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France, after their exit from the Champions League semi-final too may also begin the questioning of whether Mauricio Pochettino is going to be the man to take PSG forward next season.

One thing is for sure though, PSG are no longer a force in Ligue 1 and if they are not careful, it may be a while before they become challengers in Domestic and European football again!

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