Paris, May 7: With their respective three crucial points, Moco and Paris Saint-Germain were set to put the Ligue 1 football title deadlocked for another round.
Leaders Moco won 3-0 over ncy away on Saturday, keeping a three-point cushion over PSG, who battered bottom-ranked Bastia 5-0 at Parc des Princes in the capital, reports Xinhua news agency.
Moco took the lead on ncy defender Tobias Badila’s own goal just three minutes into the game, before that was extended by Berrdo Silva, who headed in Thomas Lemar’s cross from the left.
Kylian Mbappe, Moco’s 18-year-old sensation, took advantage of his speed to set up Lemar for a three-goal margin with four minutes to go.
PSG could keep their slim hope alive to defend the title with a lopsided win, which was, however, overshadowed by Italian midfield star Marco Verratti’s controversial goal to put them 2-0 up.
Brazilian winger Lucas Moura bagged his 10th league goal of the season with an easy finish on Blaise Matuidi’s assist in the 32nd minute.
Verratti doubled the hosts’ lead just three minutes later, but in a seemingly controversial manner.
As Matuidi went down in Bastia’s pelty area and the ball went out for a throw, the visitors’ goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca went off the goal to check on the PSG midfielder.
Then, the defending champions took on a fast throw, and Verratti smashed the ball into the corner of the net, leaving a furious Leca to protest the refereeing, only to receive a yellow card. “I thought that Matuidi might be hurt, so I went to help him up,” said Leca in a postgame interview.
But for PSG head coach Ui Emery, Verratti didn’t go against the spirit of fair play.
After his two goals were disallowed, one for offside and the other for a teammate’s violation, top scorer Edinson Cavani put the ball over the line in the 76th minute and scored his 33rd goal in the campaign late in the game. He also saw a spot kick saved by Leca between his two goals.
The other one goal went to centre-back Marquinhos, who comfortably poked the ball into an empty net.
Moco, who have a game in hand, can ensure their first league title since 2000 with four points from the following three matches. Actually, a home win against Lille next Sunday could be be sufficient to that due to their superior goal difference over PSG.
Bastia remained bottom on the table, one point adrift ncy. The two sides had an uphill challenge to avoid their relegation with only two matches to go.
Elsewhere, Guingamp crushed Dijon 4-0, Lille lost to Metz 0-2, Lorient recorded a 1-1 tie with Angers, and Toulouse fell 0-1 to Caen. IANS