Match Report: Lille 2-1 PSG



Paris Saint-Germain’s title challenge is hanging by a thread after a damaging 2-1 defeat in Lille last night in which the hosts were inspired by talisman Eden Hazard.

The Belgian starlet draw his team level after Les Parisiens took the lead through Javier Pastore and then produced a piece of magic to help set-up his side’s winner.

It is a defeat that puts us five points behind leaders Montpellier with just four games left to play. LOSC’s victory also means they trail us by just two points as they seek that second automatic UEFA Champions League spot at our expense.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti was dealt a blow with the news that Jeremy Menez would be unable to compete due to an ankle injury he picked up in the win over Sochaux last weekend. The news came out of the blue to the surprise of many with no news of the issue being speculated over the course of the week. That led to the reintroduction of Kevin Gameiro up top on his own with Pastore and Nene supporting. Momo Sissoko returned from suspension and came in for Mathieu Bodmer as skipper Mamadou Sakho started on the bench – although he would feature later on in a manner that he would love to forget.

Lille’s marquee man Hazard had been a doubt all week for the game due to a problem with his Achilles but showed no sign of discomfort as he dictated the course of the game for large parts. Right from the get go he and his peers had the better of it as they created a flurry of early chances. The Belgian brought out a decent save from Salvatore Sirigu with an early free-kick before the Italian got his hand to Tulio de Melo’s goal-bound header.

PSG had to weather the early storm but eventually began to settle. Although chances were few and far between they did hit the woodwork as Pastore looked to loop Nene’s free-kick back into the mire, rattling the cross-bar in the process.

Les Dogues then hit the frame of the goal themselves thanks to Hazard who unleashed a vicious long range-effort that struck the foot of the post to the relief if those playing in white.

Just before the interval Milan Bisevac hobbled off with an injury and had to be replaced by Mamadou Sakho.

Minutes after the restart Pastore put the capital club into the lead with a looping header. Christophe Jallet played the ball out wide to Gameiro who steered the ball into the box but goalkeeper Mickael Landreau inadvertently palmed the ball into the Argentine’s path who headed the ball over Mathieu Debuchy and into the net.

With PSG cruising, it all came crashing down. Gameiro squandered a huge chance to put his team 2-0 up and was made to rue his miss as moments later Sakho was sent off for pulling back Nolan Roux in the penalty area. Hazard stepped up and dually converted and that set the tone for PSG’s demise.

That man Hazard played a massive part in the winner with an audacious cross that had those in attendance salivating at what they saw. The Belgian’s ball into the box was headed back across goal by De Melo for Roux to head home and give the hosts the spoils.

PSG just could not recover and are left to ponder at what might have been. It has all but ended our title challenge and will now have us looking over our shoulders with Lille closing the gap. Carlo Ancelotti will not give up hope but it is now certainly Montpellier’s title to lose.

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