David on Target As Lille Move Top With PSG Win

Lille
Soccer Football – Ligue 1 – Paris St Germain v Lille – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – April 3, 2021 Lille’s Jonathan David celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS ⸺ Lille leapfrogged Paris St Germain to grab the lead in Ligue 1 on Saturday after Jonathan David found the back of the net in a 1-0 win over the French champions, who had Neymar sent off in the last minute.

Canada striker David scored in the first half to put the northerners on 66 points with seven games remaining, three ahead of PSG who were lacklustre throughout the showdown.

Neymar was sent off when he picked up a second yellow card for shoving Tiago Djalo, who reacted with a foul-mouthed rant and was also shown a red card. 

“Tonight we only won three points, it’s not decisive,” said Lille midfielder Benjamin Andre.

“We were fully prepared and we were focused to win a tactical game.”

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Monaco moved up to third on 62 points with a 4-0 thrashing of promoted Metz.

Olympique Lyonnais were left in fourth place on 61 points after Lucas Paqueta cancelled out Jonathan Clauss’s second-half opener for the hosts, who are fifth on 49 points.

Lyon had forward Islam Slimani sent off in the last minute for a rough tackle on Cheick Doucoure. 

PSG have won seven of the last eight Ligue 1 titles, only finishing second behind Monaco in 2017, while Lille are looking to claim their first since 2011.

Lille, who were without Yusuf Yazici after the Turkey midfielder tested positive for COVID-19, defended thoroughly throughout and were the sharper side at the Parc des Princes to bag a deserved three points after two consecutive defeats in competitive matches. 

PSG, who travel to Bayern Munich for their Champions League quarter-finals first leg on Wednesday, have now lost their last three home games in Ligue 1.

Soccer Football – Ligue 1 – Paris St Germain v Lille – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – April 3, 2021 Paris St Germain’s Neymar in action with Lille’s Renato Sanches REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Neymar, in his first Ligue 1 start in over two months, found Kylian Mbappe early on with a defence-splitting pass, only for the French striker to see his low crossed shot parried away by Mike Maignan. 

Lille went ahead on 20 minutes as David fired under the roof of the net from Jonathan Ikone’s cross after controlling the ball with a soft touch.

David left the pitch with a foot injury shortly after scoring his 10th goal of the season, his eighth in his last 12 league matches.

PSG struggled to create chances despite enjoying most of the possession and Lille threatened several times with lighting-quick counter attacks.

Neymar forced Maignan to a good save with a powerful half volley from just outside the box on the hour and he came close again in the 70th with a diving header that went just wide.

The Brazilian, however, will miss PSG’s next league game against Racing Strasbourg following his sending off.

Monaco were on fire against Metz, with penalties from Cesc Fabregas and Wissam Ben Yedder, who scored a double, and a goal by Kevin Volland, all after the break.

Coach Niko Kovac refused to get carried away, though.

“There are still 21 points at stake and we first need to secure fourth place,” he told a news conference.

“But we’re good. We have a good momentum.”

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar; Reuters

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