PSG visited Auxerre for MD36 of Ligue 1 and narrowly defeated the relegation-threatened hosts 2-1 on the road. It was PSG third win in a row and the one that virtually turned Paris Saint-Germain into champions of France for a historic 11th time.
This victory has Paris Saint-Germain in a similar position related to second-place Lens, leading the chasers by six points in the standings with the same bounty still in play. That means that a point next weekend will make the title official, and even a loss at Strasbourg could give PSG the Ligue 1 crown if Lens lose their game.
The coach of PSG, Christophe Galtier, addressed the media in his post-game press conference
after winning the game that virtually clinched the 11th Ligue 1 title for Paris Saint-Germain with just one more point needed to make it all official.
What do you remember from the game? The easy first or the harder second half?
"We earned the victory, which is the most important thing. We were dealing with an opponent who is fighting for maintenance. When we saw the result of Lens (3-1 win at Lorient), it was important to win. On our game, I remember our first period. It was good football, there were good technical connections and deep play. It was interesting. We couldn't score a third goal. Everyone was in tune in the first period. We know very well that a third goal is very important in this kind of match and we had trouble getting started on the way back from the locker room."
"There were a lot of wasted possessions in the second half, which gave Auxerre a lot of hope. The second period was difficult, we had to make a lot of effort, be united and defend intelligently. When Hugo (Ekitike) came out, it was a little more difficult because he was a fixation point for defenders that had freed Kylian and Leo a lot in the first half. He thwarted the exits of opposing balls. When he came out we no longer recovered any high balls. That lead to Auxerre generating waves and assaulting us."
The second half was hard for you...
"I simply care about the victory which leaves little hope for Lens, which is having a great season. You have to be very serious. We need to be more consistent. The evening meeting reminds me of the match against Angers with a good first period and a second much worse."
Is it a question of time to claim the Ligue 1 title?
"There is already a big difference in points; we are six points ahead of Lens. We have a difficult trip to Strasbourg next Saturday. I hope we will have the happiness of being champions in the next match and then celebrating at the Parc with our supporters."
Aren't you disappointed by Hugo Ekitike's lack of success? Is he frustrated?
"He was very frustrated at the break. His teammates and I calmed him. He has played very little and, like all strikers, he wants and needs to score, and that is not the case. There was frustration at the break. If all goes well, he will have opportunities if he is looser in the next two games."
Do you have any update on Ekitike's injury?
"He has a twisted ankle and muscle fatigue. It doesn't seem serious, we'll take a look. I hope he will be available because he had an interesting game, even if he lacked success on the last touch/striking. In the last matches, he's been interesting and I hope he will be fine."