Marseille loses to Reims and sees Europe move away; Paris beats Nice, which will not play in the Champions League

Marseille loses to Reims and sees Europe move away; Paris beats Nice, which will not play in the Champions League
Marseille loses to Reims and sees Europe move away; Paris beats Nice, which will not play in the Champions League
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Amadou Koné (left) and Emmanuel Agbadou (right) of Reims try to take the ball from Marseillais Faris Moumbagna, at the Auguste-Delaune stadium, in Reims (Marne), May 15, 2024. FRANÇOIS NASCIMBENI / AFP

Olympique de Marseille (OM) were defeated in Reims (0-1), Wednesday May 15, during a late match on the 32nd day of Ligue 1. The Marseille club thus saw its chances recede to play in a European Cup next season.

Jean-Louis Gasset’s men remain eighth in the standings and are still three points ahead of Lens (sixth), the last virtual qualifier for a European competition, and Lyon (seventh). To be able to claim it, the Marseillais will have to win in Le Havre and hope for a misstep from their direct opponents at the same time during the 34th and final day of the championship, Sunday. After the semi-final of the Europa League lost to Atalanta Bergamo (1-4, cumulative score), OM could experience new disillusionment as the club finished the 2022-2023 season in third place.

Having to win on the field of a Champagne team which had not tasted victory since March 17 (2-1 against Metz), Marseille lacked creativity, drive and character. Three days after a laborious victory against Lorient (3-1), OM again appeared in difficulty and without any real spirit of revolt once behind, despite the urgency. It was the unfortunate Chancel Mbemba who extended a cross from Junya Ito into his own net (0-1, 33rd).

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In Reims, a club that moved up to tenth place, interim coach Samba Diawara has already won his bet. Replacement at short notice for Will Still, who left ” from a common agreement “ with his management, the former Malian international achieved a first prestigious success, five days after a reassuring draw brought back from Brest (1-1).

At the start of the meeting, the Reims ultras displayed a harsh banner to summarize their club’s season: “January Europeans, since then, good for nothing! » They will not be able to say the same after this meeting. Opposite, freshly out of Europe, Marseille may have to wait a long time before finding it again.

PSG dominates even without its stars

In the other late match of the 32nd day of Ligue 1 played on Wednesday evening, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), already titled and heavily overhauled, won in Nice (2-1), and put an end to the hopes of the Aiglons to participate in the Champions League next season.

Nice, fifth in the championship and guaranteed to play in the Europa League next season, had to win at home against the French champion to offer itself, during the 34th and last day, Sunday, a “final” against Lille, third, and virtually qualified for the next C1.

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The final will not take place. With this defeat, Nice is four points behind LOSC and Brest, fourth with the same number of points as Lille (58 points) and will no longer be able to beat them at the post during the last championship match.

Paris, on the contrary, deprived of its star Kylian Mbappé, the best passer in Ligue 1, Ousmane Dembélé, and other executives, left in Paris for the final of the Coupe de France against Lyon on May 25 in Lille, has perfectly prepared for the last deadline of its season. Thanks to its young shoots, aligned on the Côte d’Azur, PSG made up for its defeat last weekend at home against Toulouse (1-3) and perfectly met the expectations of its coach, Luis Enrique , who had demanded character from his players the day before.

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In less than ten minutes, OGC Nice, the best defense in Ligue 1, took on water, tortured by the speed and quality of dribbling of Bradley Barcola. The Parisian left winger, tipped to appear on the list of twenty-three or twenty-six Blues who will participate in the Euro in Germany this summer – it will be unveiled by Didier Deschamps on Thursday – has perfectly chosen his moment to shine . At the 18e minute, after a six-meter throw-in from Marcin Bulka, Barcola took advantage of an error from Jordan Lotomba in front of his area to recover the ball, rely on Fabian Ruiz and adjust the Nice goalkeeper with a curling shot from inside the right to open the scoring and score his fourth goal this season.

Paris focused on its Coupe de France final against Lyon

A few minutes later, the striker once again overtook Lotomba along the surface, rushed in before crossing hard at ground level for Yoram Zague alone at the penalty spot. On his 18th birthday, the young PSG defender, surprised by Luis Enrique’s line-up at kick-off, had no trouble scoring his first goal in Ligue 1 (2-0, 24th).

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During a fast-paced first period, the offensive pressing of both teams cost the defenders on each side dearly. The Parisian storm passed, Nice, which had started the game well, recovered its spirits and got back in the direction of march, taking advantage of a poor restart from Marquinhos to reduce the score thanks to a nice raid from Jérémie Boga concluded by Mohamed-Ali Cho (32nd, 1-2). In the second half, the Aiglons tried everything to force their destiny, but were no longer able to deceive Arnau Tenas, in the Parisian goals in place of Gianluigi Donnarumma on Wednesday.

Their season ends even before their last meeting in Lille, unlike Paris which, without its stars, treated itself to a makeover before the final of the Coupe de France. Lyon can tremble.

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The World with AFP

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