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.
Although PSG needed a full 90-minute performance to earn the three points, the squad from the French capital went away with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Auxerre on their second-to-last trip of the 2022/23 season before returning to the Parc des Princes for the season finale already into June after visiting Strasbourg next Saturday.
Kylian Mbappe (28 goals in the league after Sunday's brace) took this game and all matters involving it into his own hands early, and by the time the clock hit 10 minutes, the Ligue 1 top-goalscorer had already bagged a couple of goals to pad his distance with fellow goalscorer and Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazatte (26) in the race for such an accolade.
This win, the 27th this season for Christoph Galtier's side, has PSG sitting pretty in first position with 84 points in 36 games and six clear of second-place Lens (78). That said, the Parisian will need to wait until Saturday to officially celebrate their 11th Ligue 1 title as there is still a tiny chance Lens ends up winning the league.
Auxerre (34 points), who are fighting to avoid relegation and will need to fend off Nantes (33) in the final two matchdays of the season, conceded two early goals but never gave up. Lassine Sinayoko scored the lone goal for the hosts, and they had a couple of more chances that could have earned them another vital point that ultimately, though, never went their way as they fell short of tying PSG's early brace.
PSG managed to hold on to their lead and they could have put a brochure to the matchup with a third goal by Mbappe in the final minutes of the evening, although VAR ruled the goal out by offside. Ekitike had the chance to put PSG up 3-0 but whiffed a pass by Mbappe in the 42nd minute of the first half in front of an open goal. The youngster will be forced off the field in the 55th minute with an injury, getting replaced by midfielder Vitinha.
PSG will breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they will avoid a trophy-less season by winning the league, something that should happen every year considering the financial gap between Paris and the rest of the Ligue 1 members.
After Sunday's win, a point would suffice for PSG to lift the chip on MD37. If PSG lose their game at Strasbourg, though, they will need Lens to lose or draw theirs (against Ajaccio) in order to make the title official. After the visit to Strasbourg, PSG will return to the Parc des Princes for the season finale at home (against Clermont) on June 3rd, when they plan to host the celebration of a historic 11th championship, something no team has ever accomplished.
Gianluigi Donnarumma put on a solid performance overall, though the shots he faced arrived mostly from outside of the box and were low-danger ones. That said, he still found a way to let the single one-vs-one end in the back of his net preventing him once more from getting a clean sheet on the day.
Speaking after the game, Marquinhos acknowledged the team's slight dip in performance after taking a two-goal lead but expressed satisfaction with the win. "We start well, we open the score, but afterward there is a lot of relaxation at certain times of the match," he said.
PSG won't hold any celebrations until they officially win the title, something Galtier said is planned to happen next weekend before moving back home to Paris and celebrating a proper party at the Parc des Princes in the final game of the season.
With just two games left and one point to make league title official, nearly all of the attention will now focus on Mbappe's run to get another top-goalscorer title when all is said and done, which will mark the fifth time in his young career for him doing so.