Tue, Apr 17, 2018 - Page 16 News List

PSG crush Monaco to claim French title

AFP, PARIS

Paris Saint-Germain’s Angel di Maria, left, scores past AS Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic in their Ligue 1 match at the Parc des Princes in Paris on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery said the club must continue to strengthen as the French champions try to transform their dominance at home into success in the UEFA Champions League.

Angel di Maria and Giovani Lo Celso on Sunday scored twice as PSG secured a fifth Ligue 1 title in six seasons with a 7-1 rout of reigning champions AS Monaco.

Unai Emery’s team blew Monaco away in a first-half blitz that saw PSG score four times in 14 minutes at the Parc des Princes, with with Lo Celso striking either side of goals from Edinson Cavani and Di Maria.

Rony Lopes pulled a goal back for Monaco when he scored for the eighth game in a row, but Di Maria added a fifth before Radamel Falcao turned into his own net and Julian Draxler struck late on as PSG romped to the club’s seventh championship.

“Other teams have more titles than us ... but we must keep on building,” said Emery, who is likely to be replaced in the summer. “There is a solid tool for the future, to remain No. 1 in France, and become that elsewhere with patience and hard work.”

With a fifth successive Coupe de la Ligue already won, PSG completed the second leg of a domestic treble — they are also through to the Coupe de France semi-finals — and could yet break their record 96-point haul from the 2015-2016 campaign.

PSG also became the first team in Europe’s top leagues this season to reach 100 goals on a night they were without the injured Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, the teenager left on the bench after a bout of illness, but a second successive round-of-16 exit in the Champions League means heads will roll at the end of this season in preparation for another attempt to muscle in among Europe’s elite.

“That defeat [to Real Madrid] hurt us, but we continued to work with the players, the staff and the president, who is always at our side,” PSG captain Thiago Silva said. “It was a difficult moment, but I think in the end it’s a good season. We have taken back our title, but we must continue to work, we have a Cup semi-final [against Stade Malherbe Caen] on Wednesday.”

Monaco arrived in Paris unbeaten on their past eight league visits to the capital, but any prospect of them prolonging PSG’s wait for the title quickly disappeared as their 17-match unbeaten run was emphatically ended.

Monaco later tweeted that they would reimburse the fans who had made the fruitless trip to Paris.

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