STADE PIERRE MAUROY, LILLE—Although they were crowned Ligue 1 champions on Wednesday night, Paris Saint-Germain were not in the mood to gift Lille a place in the Champions League qualifiers. Laurent Blanc’s side bounced back from defeat against Rennes to beat Lille 3-1 on Saturday night.
The victory takes PSG to a record-breaking 86 points this season. The record had been set at 84 points by Olympique Lyonnais eight years ago, and it was the last goal that the Parisians had yet to achieve.
Lille had enjoyed the majority of possession in the early running and were outplaying PSG in the important midfield areas. They had started well and were taking the game to the visitors, but it all changed in the 37th minute.
Lille midfielder Marvin Martin made a reckless challenge on Yohan Cabaye, and the former Newcastle United player went down in screams of agony. At first it seemed like referee Ruddy Buquet had shown Martin a yellow card, but after having a few minutes to reflect, he brandished the midfielder a straight red.
Down to 10 men, Lille were instantly punished as Brazilian defender Marquinhos headed past Vincent Enyeama after the Nigerian ‘keeper had saved a shot from Lucas Moura.
Fired up after the half-time interval Lille tried to hit back, but they were stung on the break, this time Moura’s shot did beat Enyeama, finding the bottom corner. Late on substitute, Blaise Matuidi sealed the win with a third goal for the away side.
Lille got a consolation goal through Jonathan Delaplace, and it was the least that they deserved. However, coach Rene Girard will wonder what if after his side showed great heart against the champions for most of Saturday’s match.
Read on for a few more things we learned from Saturday night’s match.