Tue, Apr 29, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Lowly Sochaux put PSG’s title celebrations on hold

AP, PARIS

Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani, right, shoots past Sochaux-Montbeliard’s Cedric Kante in their Ligue 1 match in Sochaux, France, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Relegation-threatened Sochaux-Montbeliard managed to put Paris Saint-Germain’s title celebrations on hold by salvaging a 1-1 draw in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

PSG striker Edinson Cavani chested down a long ball from Thiago Motta to fire into the net in the 24th minute, but Sochaux equalized with an own-goal from PSG centerback Thiago Silva in the 56th.

PSG lead AS Monaco by eight points at the top of the table with just three matches left.

“The trouble is that people think it’s a done deal,” PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. “The more people say it, the more we also believe it... I know we haven’t won the league yet. There’s not much missing, but we still miss that little something.”

Elsewhere on Sunday, LOSC Lille Metropole beat Girondins de Bordeaux 2-1 to stay third and keep a seven-point lead over AS Saint-Etienne in the hunt for the final UEFA Champions League berth, while Olympique Lyonnais thrashed SC Bastia 4-1 to consolidate fifth place and move five points clear of Olympique de Marseille in the race for a UEFA Europa League spot.

Sochaux pressed high in the opening minutes to disrupt the defending champions’ passing game, but PSG soon dominated possession and had their first scoring chance when Cavani’s curling shot was tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Yohann Pele in the 20th minute.

PSG winger Lucas Moura’s header from the subsequent corner was cleared off the line by Sochaux rightback Julien Faussurier.

The visitors broke the deadlock four minutes later when Cavani outpaced the Sochaux defense to shoot past Pele for his 16th league goal.

Salvatore Sirigu protected his team’s lead by saving a close-range effort from Sochaux midfielder Sebastien Roudet on the stroke of halftime after Jordan Ayew had played him in with a back-heel flick.

However, the PSG goalkeeper allowed Sochaux to rally in the second half. Sirigu diverted a cross from Sochaux leftback Florian Marange and the ball bounced off Thiago Silva to sail into the net.

PSG then pushed to score the winner.

Cavani dribbled past defender Cedric Kante in the 61st minute, but was denied by Pele. PSG substitute Marco Verratti then took a pass from Gregory van der Wiel to go through on goal, but shot straight at Pele from close range in the 65th minute.

“We didn’t deserve to win this match,” PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi said. “The World Cup is near, but the season is not over yet. Everybody is a bit tired. We still need to go and get the title at home in our next game.”

Sochaux kept their slim safety hopes alive by staying four points behind Evian Thonon Gaillard in 17th place.

In Lille, Salomon Kalou ghosted past the Bordeaux defense to head home a cross from Florent Balmont in the 24th minute.

Kalou also hit the post in the 62nd minute and had a penalty saved by Cedric Carrasso in stoppage-time.

Carrasso parried a powerful free-kick from Simon Kjaer in the 68th minute, but Lille forward Ryan Mendes followed up to tap in for a 2-0 lead.

Brazilian forward Jussie cut the hosts’ lead by converting a penalty in the 71st minute after Kjaer brought him down.

At Stade de Gerland, Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis headed in a cross from Henri Bedimo to put the hosts ahead in the 14th minute.

Lyon midfielder Nabil Fekir doubled the lead in the 23rd minute by converting a rebound after goalkeeper Mickael Landreau palmed away a cross from Gomis.

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