French league leader PSG slumps to 3-0 loss at Monaco

PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain looked sluggish and apathetic Sunday as the French league leader slumped to a 3-0 loss at Monaco, with Wissam Ben Yedder scoring twice in a match which PSG captain Marquinhos called “catastrophic”.

Following PSG’s exit from the Champions League in the last-16 at the hands of Real Madrid, the poor display at the Stade Louis II won’t ease the wrath of ultras who have been calling for sporting director Leonardo and president Nasser Al-Khelaifi to leave.

“You have to respect yourself, that’s important, if you have a minimum of respect for what you do, for what you want to be, for what you aspire to be,” PSG striker Kylian Mbappé said after the heavy defeat at his former club.

It was Monaco’s biggest league win against PSG since a 3-0 victory at the Parc des Princes back in 1999, according to Ligue 1 statistics.

“It’s catastrophic,” Marquinhos said. “It’s our worst game of the year … We need to do better than today, we need the right mentality, otherwise even in Ligue 1 we are going to lose this title.”

With nine matches left to play, PSG still enjoys a 12-point lead at the top of the standings over Marseille and remains well on track to equal Saint-Etienne’s record of 10 French league titles.

Monaco moved to seventh place with the win.

PSG enjoyed the possession but was largely toothless in attack and the hosts deservedly took the lead in the 25th minute after Youssouf Fofana opened space down the right flank and crossed the ball for Ben Yedder.

With his back to the goal, the France forward connected with the ball and sent it into the back of the net with a subtle flick with the outside of his foot.

Monaco could have gone into the break with a bigger lead but missed a couple of other chances before the interval.

PSG’s first dangerous move came in the 51st when Mbappé made the most of Neymar’s through ball to break into the area only to fluff his shot.

Substitute Kevin Volland came on as a replacement for Gelson Martins and immediately made an impact to beat PSG ‘keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma from close range at the conclusion of a well-executed collective move in the 68th.

Ben Yedder made it 3-0 with six minutes left from the penalty spot following Presnel Kimpembe’s reckless tackle from behind on Volland. Donnarumma managed to parry the striker’s kick, but the ball bounced into the net.

PSG was without Lionel Messi, who was ruled out with flu-like symptoms. In addition to the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, PSG was also without Sergio Ramos, Angel di María, Juan Bernat, Layvin Kurzawa and Ander Herrera.

FIGHT FOR SECOND

Goals from Arkadiusz Milik and substitute Cedric Bakambu secured a 2-1 win for Marseille against southern rival Nice at the Stade Velodrome.

Second-place Marseille is now three points ahead of Nice in fourth.

Mario Lemina pulled one back for Nice in stoppage time after Bakambu gave Marseille more room to breathe with a header from Gerson’s cross. Milik had put Marseille ahead just before the interval from the penalty spot.

RENNES DESTROYS METZ

Serhou Guirassy scored a hat trick and Martin Terrier bagged a pair of goals to help Rennes to an emphatic 6-1 win over struggling Metz.

Boasting the best attacking record in the league with 63 goals in 29 games, the Brittany side moved to third with a fifth consecutive win. Rennes scored 20 goals over that winning stretch. Hamari Traoré also scored for the hosts.

OTHER RESULTS

Reduced to nine men for almost the entire second half, Montpellier won 2-0 at last-place Bordeaux. Back with Bordeaux after a two-month absence, goalkeeper Benoit Costil was targeted by the club’s supporters who jeered him throughout the game.

Sofiane Bouffal scored from the penalty spot to give Angers a 1-0 win against Brest, Lyon dropped points in the race for the European spots with a 0-0 draw at Reims, and Lorient was held to a goalless draw by Strasbourg.

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