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Ligue 1

Ligue 1: AS Monaco Remains At Top But PSG Keep Pace

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 7: Edinson Cavani of PSG celebrates the victory following the French Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Lille OSC (LOSC) at Parc des Princes stadium on February 7, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Both Leonardo Jardim’s AS Monaco and Unai Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain kept pace with each other in Ligue 1 after holding off Jean-Louis Gasset’s Montpellier HSC and Patrick Collot’s Lille OSC by identical 2-1 scorelines.

At the Stade de la Mosson et du Mondial 98, goals from Kamil Glik (16′) and Kylian Mbappe (21′) offset a 48th minute strike from Vitorino Hilton but Monaco were forced to play down to 10 men late after Jemerson was sent off for a red card.

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Late show drama took place at the Parc des Princes in Paris’s 2-1 win over Lille. Edinson Cavani opened the scoring in the 70th minute for PSG. Nicolas De Preville leveled the scores on 86th minutes but it was Lucas Moura that brought home the match winner in the second minute of second half stoppage time. Paris dominated the contest in a number of key stats: possession (77.1% to 22.9%), shots (20 to seven), shots on target (seven to three), successful passes (91.2% to 65.4%), passes (775 to 237) and corners (nine to one).

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“It was a tough game, like all the others,” said Emery. “We had to be patient and against a very compact defence. But we played the way we wanted to, we played out football, with the majority of possession… We also played well in attack. It’s a deserved win. I’m happy with the three points and to see the side overcome a very difficult opponent. The supporters really pushed up for that winning goal and the team showed real personality to get an important win that bodes well for the future.”

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“I will never forget my 200th match for Paris!” said defender Maxwell. “I think we played well overall. It was very hard to carve out chances, because they were defending in numbers. When we conceded the equaliser, we knew we didn’t have much time left, but we showed plenty of desire and courage and we managed to score that second goal… it was great! The reaction from the team was very positive. We need to keep winning to keep the pressure on Monaco, because we know we have no room for error.”

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“All matches are difficult,” said Angel Di Maria. “Like often here at the Parc des Princes, the opposition was sitting very deep, looking to defend in numbers and it was very hard to find space. In the end, we won. We thought we were going to win 1-0, perhaps, but we had to dig deep in the end to get the win, and we’re very happy.”

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“The positive thing tonight was the result,” said Thiago Motta. “We knew they were going to sit back and try to defend. We tried very hard to create scoring chances and in the end we got the three points. Now we focus on preparing well for Friday’s game against Bordeaux.”

Speaking of Jocelyn Gourvennec’s Girondins de Bordeaux, they have prepared well for the match on Friday at the Matmut Atlantique with a resounding 4-0 shutout win over Patrice Garande’s SM Caen at the Stade Michel d’Ornano. Francois Kamano led the way with a brace in the 23rd and 63rd minutes. Other goalscorers for Bordeaux include Diego Rolan (11′) and Jaroslav Plasil (90′).

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