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French Ligue 1

Nigeria’s Terem Moffi fires a brace for Nice to shock Mbappe inspired – PSG

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Ligue 1 - Paris St Germain v OGC Nice - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - September 15, 2023 OGC Nice's Terem Moffi scores their first goal REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes Acquire Licensing Rights

Nice forward Terem Moffi scored two goals and earned an assist to help his side to a 3-2 win at Paris St Germain in Ligue 1 on Friday, condemning the hosts to their first defeat of the season.

PSG, who on Tuesday host Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, could have provisionally topped the standings with a win but slipped down to third on eight points.

They are one point behind second-placed Nice, still unbeaten in the 2023-24 campaign, and two points off leaders AS Monaco, who travel to Lorient on Sunday.

“Nice were a very difficult team, with a very attractive game plan,” coach Luis Enrique said.

“Physically, I think they were superior to us and then they were very good in all counterattack situations.”

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PSG were in control in the first half and Ousmane Dembele struck early towards the top far corner only to be denied by Nice keeper Marcin Bulka, seconds after Kylian Mbappe was blocked inside the box.

But the game saw a quick turnaround when Moffi put Nice in front in the 21st minute, netting low inside the near post.

The visitors’ joy lasted just under 10 minutes, though, and Bulka could only claw at the ball when Mbappe smashed it in from the edge of the box to draw PSG level just before the half-hour mark.

The Parisians regained the momentum and could have earned the lead before halftime when Dembele sent a pass across the face of the goal but Mbappe was late to bundle it into the net with a sliding tackle.

Instead, forward Gaetan Laborde restored the lead for Nice after the break from close range, capitalising on an excellent ball control and a pass from tight angle by Moffi.

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Gianluigi Donnarumma saved the hosts from conceding a quick third when Sofiane Diop took a chance from close range, but the PSG keeper was powerless when Moffi tricked PSG defense to make it 3-1 with a low shot in the 68th minute.

Mbappe restored PSG’s hopes when he returned on the scoresheet three minutes from time with a shot that bounced off the ground before making it inside the far post.

The hosts stormed Nice’s box in stoppage time but lacked time and precision to rescue a draw.

“It was a great Nice team in front of us,” substitute Randal Kolo Muani said. “They managed to keep calm, play their football and then score goals.”

PSG did not lose any of their previous 13 home matches against Nice in all competitions.

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Nice, meanwhile, are one of four teams still unbeaten in the top-flight along with Rennes, Olympique de Marseille and Monaco this season.

-Reuters

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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French Ligue 1

Sacked former Cote d’ivoire coach, Gasset announces retirement as Marseille manager

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Europa League - Semi Final - Second Leg - Atalanta v Olympique de Marseille - Stadio Atleti Azzurri, Bergamo, Italy - May 9, 2024 Olympique de Marseille coach Jean-Louis Gasset reacts REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

Jean-Louis Gasset who was sacked by Cote d’Ivoire after the group stage of the Africa Cup of Nations last January has announced his retirement as  a coach of Olympique de Marseille.

 He will take charge of his last game on Sunday before retiring from management, the 70-year-old said on Friday.

Gasset was appointed as interim manager by the Ligue 1 club in February after the sacking of Gennaro Gattuso, and Marseille are eight in the standings going into their final Ligue 1 game of the season at Le Havre.

“Sunday will be the last match of my career,” Gasset told a press conference.

“That I stay in football, that my experience, my ideas and my networks are used is a possibility. I don’t know how to garden, I won’t have anything to do. But as a coach, it’s over.”

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The Frenchman’s previous job was with Ivory Coast from which he was sacked after the team’s poor performances in the Africa Cup of Nations group stage. They scraped through as the last lucky losers before going on to win the tournament on home soil.

-Reuters

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French Ligue 1

Departing Mbappe backs good friend Dembele to become Ligue 1’s best

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Sealed And Delivered! Mbappe Has Already Signed Contract With Real Madrid -

Kylian Mbappe has backed winger Ousmane Dembele to be a success at Paris St Germain and fill his boots after he exits the club, as he won his fifth successive Ligue 1 Player of the Year award.

France captain Mbappe, 25, last week announced that he will leave the French champions at the end of the season after a seven-year stay, during which he became their all-time top scorer with 256 goals.

Mbappe’s frustration lies with PSG’s performances in the Champions League, a trophy they have never lifted despite huge investment in the squad. He has been heavily linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid, who are in the final this year seeking a 15th European crown.

His 26-year-old compatriot Dembele joined the Parisian club, who have won 10 of the last 12 Ligue 1 titles, from LaLiga side Barcelona in August last year, signing a five-year deal.

“I have shared and played with incredible players, like Dembele who is here, he is a friend and one day he will pick up this award,” Mbappe said on Monday at the award ceremony.

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“I thank the club as a whole, the coach, who has helped me and trusted me, his staff, the doctors, all the people at the club, the sporting management, the president, the shareholders of the club, of course, the Emir of Qatar who came to find me at the age of 18, who has accompanied me in all my decisions…”

He said his next chapter is going to be very exciting but did not reveal any further details.

“Now I’m turning the page in my life. Everything that comes next is super exciting, but that’s another subject,” Mbappe said.

“Thank you all, I’m going to miss you. I have always tried to do my best, and I also want to thank my family, who have always been with me in good times and bad.

“My father, who is here, I know that it was very important to him that I made history in Ligue 1 before I left and I think that with humility I have done everything you wanted.”

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-Reuters

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French Ligue 1

Mbappe Set To Quit PSG –

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Sealed And Delivered! Mbappe Has Already Signed Contract With Real Madrid -

France captain Kylian Mbappe has informed Paris St Germain that he is leaving the club in July as a free agent seven years after joining them, The Athletic website reported on Thursday.

Mbappe, a member of France’s 2018 World Cup-winning team, signed for PSG from Monaco in 2017 for 180 million euros ($194 million) to become the second most expensive player ever after Brazilian Neymar, who joined the French champions the same year for 222 million euros.

“Mbappe has communicated his decision to PSG but the terms of his exit are yet to be fully agreed. An official announcement is expected once the situation is finalised in the next few months,” the report said.

The 25-year-old striker, who helped the capital club win five Ligue 1 titles and three French Cups, is PSG’s all-time leading scorer with 243 goals in 290 appearances.

PSG have not responded to a request for comment.

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Mbappe last year sent a letter to PSG stating that he would not take up the option to extend his contract by a year when it expires in June.

He has long been linked with Real Madrid, reportedly rejecting a 200 million euro ($215.36 million) offer in 2021. He was again set for a move to the LaLiga side in 2022 before announcing a contract extension with PSG before the transfer window opened.

PSG, who lead the Ligue 1 standings by 11 points, host Nice on Friday.

-Reuters

 

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