PSG dreaming of club treble as another French league title beckons

Thu, Apr 18, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

PSG dreaming of club treble as another French league title beckons

PARIS (AP) - Paris Saint-Germain remains on course for a historic club treble after reaching the Champions League semifinals this week.

Kylian Mbappe and his teammates can dream of playing the final at Wembley Stadium on June 1. Mbappe can imagine himself climbing the long stairs before raising aloft Europe's premier club trophy for the first time since PSG's foundation in 1970, in what would effectively be his last game before leaving the club.

"Of course I want to win the Champions League with PSG," Mbappe said after PSG knocked out Barcelona in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. "We have a great side and we'll do all we can to get to Wembley."

But before scaling such heights, there are domestic matters to take care of.

Starting with clinching a record-extending 12th French title.

PSG has a 10-point lead and can take a step closer to the title on Sunday with a home win against Lyon at Parc des Princes. But it will face a Lyon team full of confidence under coach Pierre Sage, one of the success stories of the season along with Brest.

Sage took charge only on an interim basis in December, but the club hierarchy liked what they saw and soon appointed him full-time. Sage, which translates as "Wise" in English, has led a remarkable charge up the league table with 11 wins in 17 games.

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Instead of fretting over relegation as it did in bleak late autumn, Lyon sits in a sunnier seventh place and within three points of Nice in fifth spot.

The softly spoken Sage has relied on veteran striker Alexandre Lacazette, who is third in the league scoring charts with 15, while former Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has proved an excellent midseason signing from Rennes. Matic's arrival has helped former France midfielder Corentin Tolisso regain his form, and Tolisso scored a well-taken goal in last Sunday's 4-3 win against Brest.

Lyon can't halt PSG's march to another title, because only a dramatic PSG collapse can do that, but it can stop PSG from winning another trophy when the sides meet in the French Cup final on May 25.

THREE-WAY FIGHT

The race for second place in the league is tightening. Brest is only one point ahead of third-placed Monaco and four points ahead of fourth-placed Lille. Brest, which has played one game more, hosts Monaco on Sunday before PSG plays. Lille hosts Strasbourg earlier Sunday.

But Monaco's hopes have taken a blow after Aleksandr Golovin injured his ankle in training. The fleet-footed attacking midfielder has been one of Monaco's best players with six goals and six assists.

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