PSG stumbles leave Lille on brink of Ligue 1 title

PSG have won the French title in seven of the last eight seasons and were fully expected to do so again this year given the huge financial advantage the Qatar-owned club enjoys.

PSG's Kylian Mbappe celebrates one of his three goals against Barcelona in their Uefa Champions League match on 16 February 2021. Picture: @PSG_English/Twitter

PARIS – Lille stand tantalisingly close to a first Ligue 1 title in a decade, but Kylian Mbappe is convinced that Paris Saint-Germain will only have themselves to blame if they fail to retain their crown.

PSG have won the French title in seven of the last eight seasons and were fully expected to do so again this year given the huge financial advantage the Qatar-owned club enjoys.

Despite possessing the two most expensive signings in football history in Mbappe and Neymar, Mauricio Pochettino's team find themselves second, three points behind Lille with two games remaining.

PSG's 1-1 draw at Rennes last weekend followed a 3-0 victory for Lille at Lens, and left the northern club requiring four points from their last two outings to be sure of becoming champions for the first time since 2011.

It would be a remarkable success story for Lille, but also a damning indictment of PSG's failings in a campaign in which they have lost eight times already, as many as in the last two seasons combined and the most they have suffered in a single season since 2010-11.

"If we don't win the league it will have been us who failed to win it rather than them who won it," Mbappe told Eurosport after PSG beat Montpellier on penalties in midweek to reach the French Cup final.

After his comments caused a backlash, Mbappe took to social media to explain himself.

"Lille would make for great champions if they are crowned but with eight defeats, if we lose the title we will be fully responsible," Mbappe wrote alongside the hashtag #Respect.

Lille, who took four points out of a possible six against Paris this season, could even win the league with a game to spare this Sunday.

In the seemingly unlikely event that PSG fail to beat mid-table Reims, Christophe Galtier's Lille will be champions by bettering the capital side's result when they host Saint-Etienne.

PSG fans will of course disagree, but a Lille success would certainly be a shot in the arm for the French game four years after Monaco -- with a young Mbappe in their ranks -- took the title away from Paris.

Pochettino's team could still end the season without a major trophy, and could even miss out on a top-three finish and Champions League qualification with both Monaco and Lyon just behind them.

However, they could also still finish with a domestic double following their Champions League semi-final loss to Manchester City. As well as trying to reel in Lille they play Monaco in the French Cup final next Wednesday.

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