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Lille, the master stroke



Solid and united, the Mastiffs take three important points in the title race on the field of PSG (0-1) this Saturday.

To dominate is not to win. PSG is well placed to know it… As against Monaco (0-2) and Nantes (1-2), Paris Saint-Germain gave in to the Parc des Princes this Saturday. This time, it was the Lille Mastiffs who came to rule the capital, 1-0 final score. A victory that will perhaps be expensive at the end of the season, when it is time to do the math. Because Lille (66 pts) regain the lead in the Ligue 1 standings and three lengths ahead of Paris-SG (63 pts). Then come Monaco (62 pts), winner against Metz earlier (4-0), and Lyon, which will only play this Saturday evening, in Lens (9 p.m.). There is still some way to go, and 21 points to distribute, clashes between the teams of the Top 4.

Substituted shortly after half an hour of play, Jonathan David scored the winning goal in the 22nd minute. The only Lille strike in the first period. There were three in total, including a break point for Burak Yilmaz at the end of the game (79th). Renato Sanches performed a high-flying game. The André-Soumaré pair shone with their power and mastery. Tiago Djalo did more than help out in an unusual right-back role. And Mike Maignan made Mike Maignan, with in particular this decisive parade in front of Kylian Mbappé in the first period (15th).

READ ALSO – PSG-Lille: the film of the meeting

But the success of Christophe Galtier’s team was not based on individualities. It is a group that opposed PSG, which stood up as one man against the Rouge et Bleu. “We have found certain values ​​that we may have lost at times,” said northern midfielder Benjamin André, on Canal +. Le Losc is a big collective, a big block. And when we’re all focused, fighting for each other, we’re impassive. Obviously, there is a question of duels, of knowing how to play, but it was above all a tactical match, and we won it tactically. ” By blocking the axis and responding present in the duels, with exceptional rigor and discipline at all levels, speed also in the blocks and well-felt ball exits, the Losc expended without counting. Lille, the best defense in the championship? We saw that this Saturday evening… 19 goals conceded only so far. A real wall.

The royal road to the title

And against this PSG, without idea, not really inspired, it was enough to win this Saturday, in this shock of the 31st day of L1. A PSG who lost for the fifth time this season at the Parc in the French league, the eighth in total in L1, and who faltered after 20 good first minutes. Mauricio Pochettino’s men will have had three very big chances, two by Neymar (7, 69th) and one by Mbappé (15th), that’s all. The changes of “Pocket”, refocusing Mbappé at the start of the second period in particular, did not change anything: the Lille canvas did not give way. A victory for courage, for self-sacrifice. In fact, the Mastiffs had what they lacked during the defeat in Paris, in the Cup (3-0): efficiency in both surfaces. “It’s disappointing. Each time we lose, we say the same thing, it lacked commitment, plague Marquinhos, also on Canal +. We must not give excuses. Especially at home, you have to be stronger than that… ”Much more.

This time, it is in any case Lille which was surgical. And it is Lille which emerged victorious from this duel. Galtier had spoken of “cold blood” before the meeting, it was one of the keys for him. His players have had it. Quite the opposite of a PSG which has committed many (big) mistakes. Quite the opposite of Neymar, who received two yellows for gestures of humor, his fourth expulsion since his arrival on the banks of the Seine, in 2017. Lille has opened a royal road to the coronation in L1, it would be the first since 2011 and the double of Eden Hazard and company.

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