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Paris Saint-Germain 2018-19: How dominant title win compares to previous QSI years

Paris Saint-Germain are champions of Ligue 1 again, clinching a sixth title in seven years after Lille failed to beat Toulouse on Sunday.

The Parisians still have six matches remaining but their 16-point gap to Lille, who have played a game more, means a title race that was virtually over before it began is now officially done.

Despite plenty of teams in France’s top flight playing attractive football, there is at present no side who appears capable of interrupting PSG’s dominance.

No club has been able to match PSG’s spending power since the Qatar Sports Investments takeover of 2011, which has transformed them from a top-six side to Ligue 1’s superpower.

Here we assess how Thomas Tuchel’s first title win compares to previous years in terms of their superiority over the division by looking back at each season since the takeover.

2011-12: The Montpellier miracle

PSG were denied Ligue 1 glory in the first season of the QSI era by a team nobody expected. The club parted company with Antoine Kombouare halfway through the season and replaced him with Carlo Ancelotti in a bid to hold off Montpellier. They were unable to do so and lost out by three points in a dramatic title race, with a 2-1 defeat to an Eden Hazard-inspired Lille key to their failure. It went down to the final day but despite a 2-1 win over Lorient it was Rene Girard’s Montpellier, led by the superb form of top-scorer Olivier Giroud, who won the title for the first time in their history by beating Auxerre 2-1.

2012-13: The end of the drought

PSG’s response to missing out in 2012 was, typically, to spend big. Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marco Verratti and Ezequiel Lavezzi all coming in, with Lucas Moura and David Beckham arriving later in the year. And this time Ancelotti and his players made no mistake as they cruised to a first Ligue 1 title since 1994, clinching it with a 1-0 win at Lyon and finishing 12 points clear of arch rivals Marseille as Ibrahimovic starred in a 30-goal campaign.

2013-14: A successful first defence

Ancelotti’s success in winning the league and leading PSG to the Champions League quarter-finals saw him lured to Real Madrid, and his replacement Laurent Blanc was tasked with filling the void and holding off a new challenger in the similarly cash-rich Monaco. PSG had little problem in doing so, though, and defended their title by a nine-point margin. Blanc also led PSG to Coupe de la Ligue glory and the Champions League quarter-finals, where they suffered the first of many collapses in that competition by throwing away a first-leg lead against Chelsea.

2014-15: The first treble

Blanc’s second season at the Parc des Princes saw him make history as the club completed an unprecedented domestic treble. They survived the challenge of Lyon in Ligue 1, with a third successive title claimed with victory at Montpellier. Wins over Bastia and Auxerre respectively sealed glory in the Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France but their Champions League quest, which saw them get revenge on Chelsea in the last 16, was ended in the quarter-finals by a treble-winning Barcelona side that PSG did beat in the group stage.

2015-16: Utter domination

What proved to be Blanc’s final season was PSG’s most dominant domestically as it yielded another treble, with Ligue 1 secured with two months to spare courtesy of a 9-0 win at Troyes. The final gap at the top was a mammoth 31 points. Lille and Marseille were beaten in the Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France finals as the unstoppable Ibrahimovic scored 50 goals in all competitions. However, an underwhelming Champions League quarter-final defeat to Manchester City spelled the end for Blanc.

2016-17: Reign ended in Emery’s debut

Unai Emery was brought in to try and improve PSG’s Champions League fortunes having had considerable European success with Sevilla but, in addition to failing to do that, he also oversaw a campaign in which their domestic rule was interrupted. PSG never led Ligue 1 at any point in 2016-17 as a young Monaco team led by superstar Kylian Mbappe took the division by storm. The principality club triumphed by eight points and, though PSG beat them to retain the Coupe de la Ligue and defeated Angers to defend the Coupe de France, they endured a humiliating exit in the Champions League last 16 as Barcelona incredibly overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit in a 6-1 win at Camp Nou.

2017-18: A century of league goals in a third treble

The men who inspired PSG’s downfall in Ligue 1 and the Champions League joined their cause in an incredible subsequent transfer window. The club shattered the world transfer record to sign Neymar from Barcelona in a €222million deal while Mbappe was acquired from Monaco in a loan deal that became permanent for €180m. Forming a star-studded forward line with Edinson Cavani, they ensured PSG quickly dethroned Monaco, finishing 13 points clear of Leonardo Jardim’s men and scoring 108 league goals.

Monaco were also vanquished in the Coupe de la Ligue Final and another treble was sealed with defeat of third tier Les Herbiers in the Coupe de France. PSG’s champions League misery continued, however, injury reducing Neymar to the role of spectator for their last-16 exit to Real Madrid, with Emery’s domestically impressive second act not enough to keep him in a job.

2018-19: No treble, but teriffic Ligue 1 start for Tuchel

Despite another Neymar injury, PSG have eased to another league title under Tuchel, whose first season in charge compares well with Blanc’s final one in terms of their domination of Ligue 1, losing just three games so far. The title has been a formality for some time, but it has been a campaign in which PSG have provided plenty of disappointment.

There will be no treble this year after their Coupe de la Ligue reign was ended. They are in the final of the Coupe de France again but suffered perhaps their worst collapse in the Champions League to date, surrendering a 2-0 first-leg lead to an injury-hit Manchester United team at the Parc des Princes in the last 16.

Neymar was again a spectator due to injury but, though that fact may buy Tuchel some time, failure in the competition PSG value the most is unlikely to be tolerated much longer regardless of their domestic superiority.

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Paris Saint-Germain 2 Troyes 0: Cavani atones for penalty miss

Edinson Cavani made amends for his penalty miss with a late goal as Paris Saint-Germain beat Troyes 2-0 in Ligue 1 at Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

The league leaders were facing the prospect of two points dropped against a much-improved Troyes side after Cavani had a first-half penalty saved, but strike partner Neymar gave PSG the lead 17 minutes from time before the Uruguayan atoned for his spot-kick woe in the dying seconds.

Jean-Louis Garcia’s Troyes went into the game having won two of their previous three in Ligue 1 and they could have been 1-0 up after 35 minutes when Stephane Darbion found the back of the net, but an offside flag had already been raised.

Cavani then won a penalty after having his shirt pulled, but his effrt was kept out by Mamadou Samassa and the visitors and there may be calls for future penalty-taking duties to fall to Neymar, who contested Cavani for the right to take them earlier in the season.

The hard-fought victory kept PSG 10 points clear of second-placed Marseille and extended their winning run to five league games, proving that even when the likes of second-half substitute Kylian Mbappe are out of form, Emery has ample talent at his disposal.

Garcia will take comfort from the way his side battled against the league’s standout opposition and if they can maintain the same level of performance over the festive period they should expect to pull away from the relegation battle.

Cavani, looking to add to his tally of 16 league goals, squandered his first opportunity when he volleyed Javier Pastore’s chipped free-kick high over the crossbar from 10 yards out.

PSG seemed to favour attacks down the right flank through Angel Di Maria, whose shot from the edge of the box bounced just wide to the left of Samassa’s goal after 19 minutes.

Kevin Trapp had to make his first save of the match just before the half-hour mark, parrying Samuel Grandsir’s shot away after the pacy winger burst into the penalty area.

Grandsir had the ball in the net five minutes later, only to be ruled out by an offside flag despite replays suggesting the goal should have stood.

Just before half-time, Cavani took a theatrical fall in the penalty area when he had his shirt tugged and a foul was given, but the Uruguayan then saw his spot-kick saved by Samassa, diving to his right.

Emery’s men pressed hard from the outset of the second half but shots from Marco Verratti and Thomas Meunier were blocked before Neymar blazed high and wide from 25 yards.

Grandsir was judged to have fouled Trapp as the Troyes playmaker caused the goalkeeper to fumble a high ball, but Samassa had no such problems at the other end when he made a good save from Giovani Lo Celso’s thunderous low drive from 20 yards.

Emery sent on Mbappe for Di Maria with just over 20 minutes left and his introduction had an invigorating effect as Neymar collected the ball moments later and sauntered forward before powering a left-footed shot into the bottom right corner of the net.

Troyes did not give up and substitute Suk Hyun-jun managed a shot on target with seven minutes left to play, but Trapp held firm and Cavani made sure he took a share of the headlines when he rifled the ball into the top of the net from 10 yards out with seconds to spare.

Key Opta facts:

– Paris Saint-Germain are unbeaten in their last 12 encounters with Troyes in Ligue 1 (W10, D2), winning the last six.
– PSG have lost only one of their last 35 Ligue 1 games (W29 D5).

– Neymar has been involved in 15 goals in his first 11 starts with Paris in Ligue 1 (nine goals, six assists), three more than in his first 11 with Barcelona in Liga (12 – four goals, eight assists).

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PSG to Get Back to Winning Ways

The weekend’s Ligue 1 action gets underway on Friday night as Paris Saint-Germain welcome Nice to the Parc des Princes.

Considering the huge amount of money spent by Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, they are expected to win the Ligue 1 title this season and reach the final of the UEFA Champions League. Anything less will mean Unai Emery is left fighting for his job.

Nice enjoyed a great 2016/17 season but things have not been going according to plan in this campaign. They travel to the French capital down in 14th place and need a win.

Paris Saint-Germain were held in the big match last weekend in Ligue 1, as they picked up a point in a 2-2 draw at Marseille.

This was a massive match, especially for the home fans and the atmosphere was incredible. Twice Paris Saint-Germain fell behind in the game and twice they fought back. The second equalising goal came via an excellent Edinson Cavani free-kick in the dying minutes of the game, after Neymar had been sent off.

There were suggestions that Paris Saint-Germain were over-confident going into the match, but trends show they had won their previous four matches in all competitions and scored 15 goals in the process.

Paris Saint-Germain come into this match on a thirteen-game unbeaten run in Ligue 1 and have not been defeated in any of their previous 24 home matches. Trends show they have won by 2 or more goals in their last five home Ligue 1 games and have won seven of their last ten Ligue 1 matches by the same margin.

Nice on the other hand have been struggling for form and have lost their last four matches in all competitions.

There have been defeats at home to Marseille and Strasbourg in Ligue 1 and Lazio in the Europa League. Nice have also lost away to Montpellier in Ligue 1 and you must go back to the 17th September to find the last time they won a league game.

Away from home in Ligue 1, trends show Nice have won only one of their last seven games and have managed to score just one goal in their last four. Furthermore, they have kept just one clean sheet in their last nine away league games, which is not great form when heading to the Parc des Princes.

Looking towards the potential team news and Paris Saint-Germain will be without Neymar, who is suspended following his sending off against Marseille. Otherwise, Paris Saint-Germain should be at full strength.

Nice travel to Paris without the injured duo of Wylan Cyprian and Mickael Le Bihan but these are not new injuries for Lucien Favre to deal with. Mario Balotelli will hope to start the match up-front.

Considering the form of Nice and the way Paris Saint-Germain have been scoring goals, you fear for the visitors in this match. We could be in for a high scoring game, with Paris Saint-Germain winning and scoring over 2.5 goals.

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Paris Saint-Germain 3 Bayern Munich 0: Miserable return to Paris for Ancelotti

Edinson Cavani and Neymar renewed their strike partnership in emphatic style with a goal apiece as Paris Saint-Germain brushed Bayern Munich aside in a 3-0 Champions League victory at the Parc des Princes.

The pair had sparked suggestions of disharmony after their on-pitch spat over who took a penalty in their 2-0 win over Lyon in Ligue 1, but they combined intuitively as Unai Emery’s side demolished the German champions’ defence in a one-sided Group B encounter.

Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti, returning to his old club for the first time since guiding PSG to the title in 2012-13, saw his side punished for a slow start when Dani Alves opened the scoring in the second minute.

Cavani made it 2-0 after half an hour with his 10th goal in as many games and the result was put beyond doubt with just over an hour played when Neymar scored from close range.

Emery will have been delighted to see his side bounce back from a disappointing draw at Montpellier four days earlier and put on a display of sumptuous attacking football against one of Europe’s best sides, having won their opening Champions League clash 5-0 against Celtic.

Ancelotti, meanwhile, has seen his side take just three wins from their last six games and Sunday’s trip to Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga is now a vital one.

PSG started in some style and Bayern had barely touched the ball when Neymar’s mazy dribble took him across the top of the penalty area where he squared to Alves, whose low shot squirmed between the legs of Sven Ulreich and into the net.

Rattled, Bayern sprung to life and Thomas Muller might have levelled after 12 minutes when Joshua Kimmich’s corner found him on his own five yards out, but his first-time shot flew wide.

Javi Martinez bent a fierce shot towards goal from the edge of the box with the outside of his right foot, drawing an acrobatic one-handed save from Alphonse Areola as the visitors began to attack with their trademark intensity.

Neymar could have doubled PSG’s lead had his deft first touch not deserted him in a one-on-one with Ulreich after 21 minutes, and soon after his strike partner Cavani took the limelight when Kylian Mbappe darted into the box, turned and teed the Uruguayan striker up to fire a shot high into the net.

The game was almost put beyond Bayern when Mbappe crossed to Neymar and the Brazilian played an audacious back-heel to Cavani, but his low drive was saved by Ulreich, who kept the contest alive with an outstretched foot.

Neymar exchanged passes with Mbappe four minutes into the second half, but then blazed his shot high and wide when he had a clear sight of goal just 10 yards out, and he missed the target again after a strong solo run to the edge of the box four minutes later.

The introduction of Kingsley Coman energised Bayern’s attack and fellow substitute Sebastian Rudy curled a shot towards goal after 56 minutes that required a smart save from Areola to keep it out.

Seven minutes later Alves surged forward and threaded a pass to Mbappe, who pulled off a sublime piece of footwork to send David Alaba the wrong way before his shot rebounded off Martinez into the path of Neymar, with the former Barcelona man rifling it high into the net.

Arturo Vidal had a goal ruled out for offside after he was put through by the unusually quiet Robert Lewandowski, whose did strike the upright with a free-kick late on.

Both Cavani and Adrien Rabiot tried their luck from distance as PSG looked to send a message to the rest of Europe by adding a fourth, but the home crowd were not complaining at the end.