Mbappe leads PSG to brink of title with victory over Lorient Win

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Paris, April 24, 2024 (DPA/NAN) Kylian Mbappe turned on the style as Paris St Germain eased to within touching distance of a third successive Ligue 1 title with a 4-1 victory at relegation-haunted Lorient.

The 25-year-old scored twice and also set up Ousmane Dembele for the second of his two goals with a touch of genius to maintain the Champions League semi-finalists’ 11-point advantage over second-placed Monaco.

PSG can claim a sixth crown in seven years against Le Havre on Saturday.

Luis Enrique’s men are now unbeaten in 25 league games dating back to September 15 while Lorient, who pulled one back through substitute Mohamed Bamba amid a late flurry, are three points from safety.

With Mbappe starting in one of nine changes to the side which lined up for Sunday’s 4-1 home win over Lyon, PSG began in patient mood with the hosts enjoying a fair share of possession and mustering the first attempt on goal, a wayward seventh-minute strike from Gedeon Kalulu.

Indeed, they should have taken the lead with 12 minutes gone when Kalulu played the ball into the path of Imran Louza, whose cut-back was steered wastefully wide by Ayman Kari.

However, Lorient keeper Yvon Mvogo had to get down well to palm away Mbappe’s curling 17th-minute effort, but was helpless to prevent the visitors from taking the lead two minutes later.

Senny Mayulu won possession on halfway and slipped the ball into Dembele’s run before watching him cut inside Isaak Toure and Julien Laporte and place the ball inside the stranded Mvogo’s right post.

It was 2-0 within three minutes after Mbappe picked out Nuno Mendes on the left and then made his way into the box, where he dispatched the return pass just inside the other upright with an outrageous flick.

Louza dragged a long-range effort wide and Gianluigi Donnarumma had to make a stunning save to keep out Tiemoue Bakayoko’s downward header from a Louza corner, but Dembele curled a 42nd-minute corner on to the roof of Mvogo’s net as the Parisians finished the first half strongly.

The hosts returned determined to remain compact in an attempt to frustrate the visitors and, as a result, initially found themselves camped deep inside their own half with Fabian Ruiz dictating play from the middle of the field.

However, the game was rather meandering towards the hour-mark when Mbappe produced another piece of magic, holding off defender Nathaniel Adjei before poking the ball through his legs and then crossing for Dembele to tap home.

Bamba’s bullet header from fellow substitute Benjamin Mendy’s cross seconds later reduced the deficit and Donnarumma had to block Panos Katseris’ late effort with his foot, but Mbappe wrapped up the win at the death, cutting in from the left to shoot past Mvogo.(dpa/NAN)

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