Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Reality bites as PSG Roux Hazard-ous night in Lille

Sirigu: Hoping for Montpellier's death
So where do we go from here?

That's been the question on many Paris St-Germain fans' lips since Sunday night's 2-1 defeat in Lille, where goals from Nolan Roux and Eden Hazard left our title hopes in Ligue 1 hanging by a thread.

You may remember I predicted we'd lose this game, so it may seem a bit melodramatic to be reaching for the razor-blades and cutting the wrists of our Championship challenge. But Montpellier are also a couple of points better off than I thought they'd be following their win in Toulouse, and can increase their lead to eight  if they beat Evian tonight. 

It's not too much of a stretch to think that MHSC could lose two of their final four games - they still have to go to Rennes before hosting Lille - but is it likely PSG will pick up maximum points from their remaining quartet? Salvatore Sirigu believes the title is now out of reach.

"The title is much further away from us now," the Italian goalkeeper said after Sunday's match.

"Apart from death, nothing can stop Montpellier being champions now. We should no longer be thinking about trying to catch Montpellier. We should no longer be thinking in terms of the table and we should no longer be thinking about first place or second place. 

"We have to play to bring some joy to ourselves and our supporters. We need to do that to finish the championship well and finish with our heads held high. There are no objectives any more, we just have to play and do as well as we can."

Apart from death? Seems a bit melodramatic, but I agree with his general point. There's no point worrying about Montpellier now, we just need to try and string together four good results and see where we end up. What is imperative is that we don't let Lille, who are now just two points behind us, snatch second place.

A third place finish means extra qualifying games for the Champions League, which are notoriously difficult to navigate in a summer when there has been a major championship such as the upcoming Euro 2012. The players don't get much of a break as it is, without the prospect of shoe-horning in crucial games before the 2012/13 season has even started.

If Hazard continues to display the kind of form he did on Sunday night, LOSC are going to be on our tails until the final game of the season, so we can't afford any more slip-ups. 


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