PSG crushes Sochaux to stay in Ligue 1 title hunt
PARIS PARIS Saint-Germain closed to within two points of Ligue 1 leaders Montpellier by overwhelming second-bottom Sochaux 6-1 at a sun-splashed Parc des Princes on Sunday.
Goals from Thiago Motta and Jeremy Menez put PSG 3-1 up at half-time, after Modibo Maiga had cancelled out Javier Pastore’s opener for the hosts.
Nene claimed a second-half brace before substitute Sylvain Armand got on the score-sheet in injury time as Paris recorded its most emphatic win of the season.
Montpellier had pulled five points clear after defeating Valenciennes the day before but although PSG remain within striking distance, they face an awkward trip to defending champions Lille next weekend.
Defeat left Sochaux 19th but they are only a point from safety with five games of the season remaining.
PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti elected to deploy a fluid 4-3-3 formation with Nene, Menez and Pastore occupying the three attacking berths and it was Pastore who broke the deadlock in the sixth minute, slamming home after a onetwo with Nene.
Sochaux responded six minutes later, Maiga beating PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu to Marvin Martin’s lofted pass to head home and score for the fifth league game in succession.
Maiga hit the post from Ryad Boudebouz’s knockdown at the end of a sweeping Sochaux move in the 21st minute, before Motta converted Nene’s left-wing freekick to restore the hosts’ lead and claim his first goal for the club. Menez made it 3-1 shortly before half-time, glancing home at the near post after Pastore freed Siaka Tiene on the PSG left.
Sochaux’s hopes of a comeback were erased by a quickfire Nene brace just before the hour.
The Brazilian made it 4-1 in the 55th minute by volleying home Christophe Jallet’s deep cross and took his personal tally to 16 league goals this season five minutes later after skipping around Sochaux goalkeeper Teddy Richert.Armand added another at the death, gathering Pastore’s pass and rolling the ball inside Richert’s lefthand post. In Sunday’s other afternoon kick-off, Ajaccio crept out of the relegation zone at the expense of Brest following a goalless draw at home to Nancy.
Montpellier maintained their grip on top spot by beating Valenciennes 1-0 on Saturday courtesy of an early goal from Souleymane Camara.
Lille held their course for third place by winning 2-0 at Dijon, despite the first-half dismissal of Idrissa Gueye, while Rennes leapt up to fourth by winning 1-0 at Brest.