Mauricio Pochettino hopes to have Neymar available for Wednesday's Coupe de France final after Paris Saint-Germain appealed against the forward's suspension.

Neymar was booked four minutes after being brought off the bench in last week's eventful 2-2 semi-final draw with Montpellier, which PSG won 6-5 on penalties to progress.

That triggered a one-match ban linked to a pre-existing suspended sentence, having also sat out two matches after being sent off against Lille last month.

The Brazil international hit out at the decision on social media, but PSG may yet have Neymar – plus defender Presnel Kimpembe – in their squad to face Monaco.

PSG are awaiting a decision from the relevant authorities and Pochettino insists his side's plans will not be disrupted either way.

"We don't know if they will be available, but we hope so. We will see in the next few hours if we can count on them," Pochettino said at Tuesday's pre-match news conference.

"We are awaiting a decision and will prepare as normal. I will pick my team tomorrow. The rest does not change."

PSG lost both league meetings with Monaco this season – 3-2 in November and 2-0 at home in February – and the two sides are involved in a thrilling Ligue 1 title battle.

Reigning champions PSG are second in the standings heading into the final set of fixtures, with leaders Lille one point better off and Monaco two points further back in a three-way race.

Pochettino faces a huge week in his first half-season at the Parc des Princes, with Wednesday's clash against in-form Monaco at the Stade de France followed by a league trip to Brest.

"We are coming to the end of the season and have two games that we must win – they are both finals," Pochettino said. 

"We don't need any extra motivation, and the physical aspect will not be a problem for us. There is a good atmosphere in the camp as we are close to two titles.

"Monaco deserve credit for their wins against us and they are a physically strong team with a lot of qualities.

"I think we deserved better in the last game between us, but they have played well. It is a final and I hope now the result will be different."

Pochettino took over from Thomas Tuchel in the Parc des Princes dugout in January and he lifted the Trophee des Champions in his third game in charge.

That was the first trophy the former Espanyol, Southampton and Tottenham boss has won and he is relaxed ahead of his side's latest final.

"I am a calm coach. I don't have much excitement beforehand," said Pochettino, who was a beaten finalist with Tottenham in the 2018-19 Champions League.

"We know our responsibilities and want to be as efficient as possible. I have confidence in the team and we will prepare in the right way for this final."

Europe's top five leagues all conclude this week and there are still plenty of matters to be resolved – not least who will be crowned champions in Spain and France.

Every division has something riding on the final days of the season, whether it be top spot, European qualification, or relegation.

Ahead of what is set to be a dramatic conclusion to the Premier League, LaLiga, Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga campaigns, we look at the state of play in each league.

 

PREMIER LEAGUE

Manchester City wrapped up the Premier League title with three games to spare, making them the first team in the competition's history to win the title despite being as low as eighth on Christmas Day.

All three relegation places were also decided with three games remaining – a Premier League record – with Fulham joining Sheffield United and West Brom in dropping down a division.

That leaves just the European spots to fight for, and it is shaping up to be an entertaining end to the English top-flight season in that regard. Manchester United are guaranteed a top-four finish, but five other teams – Leicester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham – are in the mix for the two other Champions League berths with two rounds of games to go.

There is also the small matter of the Europa League places for the teams finishing in fifth and sixth, as well as a spot in the inaugural Europa Conference League, which goes to the team in seventh, meaning everyone from 10th-placed Leeds United to Leicester in third have something to play for. That includes Arsenal, who have not missed out on European football of some sort in 25 years.

LALIGA 

The Spanish title race appeared to take a dramatic twist on Sunday as Real Madrid leapfrogged Atletico Madrid at the summit for around 20 minutes. However, Atleti scored two late goals to beat Osasuna, meaning they are two points ahead of their city rivals heading into the final round of games.

Atleti, who have led the way at the top for 29 matchdays, now need to match Madrid's result against Villarreal when they travel to relegation-threatened Real Valladolid on the final day of the season. It is worth noting that Los Blancos have the superior head-to-head record, so a draw would not be enough for Atleti if Madrid win.

Barcelona are officially out of the title race, meanwhile, but they are assured of a top-four finish along with Sevilla. Real Sociedad and Real Betis occupy the Europa League spots, while Villarreal are in a Europa Conference League berth, though just one point separates the three teams so that could all yet change.

To complicate matters, Villarreal could still qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League final against Manchester United.

At the bottom end of the division, Eibar are already relegated and they will be joined by two of Valladolid, Elche or Huesca. Valladolid must beat Atletico in their final game to have a chance of staying up, while the onus is on Elche to better Huesca's result as they are level on points but have an inferior head-to-head record.

LIGUE 1

The Ligue 1 title battle is also going right down to the wire in a three-way dogfight. After a thrilling race that has lasted the course of the season, underdogs Lille lead heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain by one point with one matchday left.

Monaco have won seven of their previous eight games and are three points off leaders Lille, though they require both Les Dogues and PSG to slip up on the final day, as well as beating Lens. Should it come down to goal difference, PSG hold a big lead over their two title rivals.

Incredibly, PSG are still not yet technically assured of a Champions League place as Lyon in fourth are only three points worse off, although it would take a defeat for the reigning champions and victory for Lyon, plus a goal swing of 16, for them to miss out.

Monaco's opponents Lens, incidentally, also have plenty to play for at the weekend as they are sixth – enough for Europa Conference League qualification – but can still be caught by Rennes in seventh, while they could yet overtake Marseille in fifth if results go their way.

At the opposite end of the table, there may only be one spot left to be settled in the bottom three – Dijon and Nimes are both already down – but six teams are still very much in danger of the drop. Nantes occupy the relegation play-off spot, with Lorient, Brest and Strasbourg just a point better off, and Bordeaux and Reims only two points clear.

SERIE A

With Inter being crowned Scudetto winners for the first time in 11 years at the start of the month, the biggest storyline in Serie A regards Juventus' top-four fate. The dethroned champions, who had finished top nine years running before this season, are currently down in fifth.

Juve are one point behind Napoli and Milan in the two spots directly above them, while Atalanta are three points better off in second and have the better head-to-head record against the Bianconeri.

Andrea Pirlo's side are therefore in need of favours on the final day in what is poised to be a nail-biting finale in terms of those Champions League places. Lazio will finish sixth, so they are assured of Europa League football next term, while Roma hold a two-point advantage over Sassuolo in the Europa Conference League position.

Parma and Crotone are both down already and one of Benevento or Torino will join them, the latter currently three points outside of the relegation zone and with a game in hand to play on Benevento.

BUNDESLIGA

RB Leipzig provided Bayern Munich with some stern competition for a while, but the Bavarian giants' quality eventually told and they are Bundesliga champions for a ninth year running.

It's not only the title race that's done and dusted in Germany, in fact, as RB Leipzig are certain of second place, and both Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg will join them in the Champions League next season.

Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen, meanwhile, will finish in fifth and sixth respectively regardless of events later this week.

However, Union Berlin have work to do if they are to finish seventh for a place in the Europa Conference League play-offs as Borussia Monchengladbach are a point further back, while Stuttgart and Freiburg are two behind with a game to go.

Seven-time German champions Schalke will be competing in the second tier of German football next season, but Cologne and Werder Bremen are hanging on in there, sitting two and one point behind Arminia Bielefeld respectively in 15th place.

Neymar has questioned French football's lawmakers after being banned for Paris Saint-Germain's Coupe de France final against Monaco next week.

The Brazil international was booked four minutes after being brought off the bench in Wednesday's eventful 2-2 semi-final draw with Montpellier, which PSG won 6-5 on penalties.

Neymar, who sat out two matches after being sent off against Lille last month, has triggered a one-game suspension linked to his punishment for that previous offence.

The league's disciplinary committee met and it has been confirmed Neymar will not be available for the showpiece against Monaco at the Stade de France.

Reacting to the news on his personal Instagram page, Neymar posted: "I would like to understand the reasoning of the guy who takes care of bookings in France! 

"That deserves applause. What a mess."

Neymar's outburst could land him in further trouble with disciplinary chiefs, having also hit out at referee Jeremie Pignard following the win against Montpellier.

"I play five minutes, I commit a foul and he gives me a yellow without even thinking," Neymar posted on social media earlier this week.

"Thank you for suspending me for the final. I think it was personal."

Mauricio Pochettino's PSG may be relying on next Wednesday's Coupe de France final to salvage their campaign.

They trail Ligue 1 leaders Lille by three points with two games to go - the first of those is at home to Reims on Sunday - and were knocked out of the Champions League by Manchester City at the semi-final stage.

Neymar penned a new four-year deal with PSG last week and has featured 29 times for the French giants in all competitions this season, scoring 16 goals.

Monaco progressed to their first Coupe de France final since 2010 as they beat minnows Rumilly Vallieres 5-1 to tee up a showdown with Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG needed penalties to beat Montpellier on Wednesday, though Monaco got the job done in the allotted 90 minutes, with Cesc Fabregas delivering a star turn.

Indeed, Monaco had to come from behind after Alexis Peuget's fine opener, but Arthur Bozon's calamitous own goal and Aurelien Tchouameni's header put Niko Kovac's team in control.

Wissam Ben Yedder's 21st goal of the season dashed any lingering comeback hopes, and Rumilly Vallieres' incredible run came to an end with a whimper as Fabregas – who provided two assists – curled in an exquisite free-kick before Aleksandr Golovin finished things off.

Eager to make the most of an unprecedented opportunity, Rumilly Vallieres had their reward for a bright start in the 20th minute.

Djibril Sidibe's awful clearance put Monaco in trouble, with Joris Cottin laying it off for Peuget, who dispatched a brilliant 20-yard strike into the top-left corner to leave the visitors stunned.

Yet it was a lead which lasted just seven minutes, and was cut in a humiliating fashion – Bozon directing what would have been a perfect diving header at the other end into his own net.

Rumilly Vallieres were behind within five minutes, Dan Delaunay failing to keep out Tchouameni's header despite getting a hand to the ball, and matters would have been made worse for the minnows had Kevin Volland performed the simple task of finishing into an empty net from six yards out, only for the German to hit the crossbar.

Having set up Volland's chance, Ben Yedder made no such mistake, combining with Fabregas before lifting a delicate finish over Delaunay.

Jocelyn Gay went close with a rasping strike, but Rumilly Vallieres were out of ideas, and Monaco's fourth came from the brilliant Fabregas, who sent a wonderful free-kick into the top-left corner.

Further damage came four minutes later, substitute Golovin racing through and slotting home to seal Monaco's progression in emphatic fasion.

RB Leipzig have completed a permanent deal for Benjamin Henrichs, who has been on loan at the Bundesliga club in the 2020-21 season.

Henrichs has made 15 appearances in all competitions since joining from Monaco, with his campaign hampered by injury issues.

However, the Germany international contributed his first goal involvement on Saturday, providing the assist as captain Marcel Sabitzer completed the scoring in second-placed Leipzig's 4-1 triumph at Werder Bremen.

The 24-year-old has signed a contract that runs through to 2025 after the purchase option was activated, reportedly at a cost of €15million.

"Since first coming to Leipzig, it’s been my goal to stay for the long term. I feel really good here and am pleased to be an RB Leipzig player for the coming years," Henrichs told Leipzig's website.

"The injuries I've suffered this season are completely behind me. Now I want to get back at it along with the rest of the team."

Leipzig's resounding triumph over Bremen allowed them to close the gap to leaders Bayern Munich, who were surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw by Union Berlin at the weekend.

Julian Nagelsmann's side trail the reigning league champions by five points with eight games remaining.

Henrichs previously played for Bayer Leverkusen before joining Monaco in 2018.

Kylian Mbappe has reached another milestone, with the Paris Saint-Germain star moving onto 100 goals in Ligue 1.

Mbappe initially opened the scoring on Sunday and then got his landmark goal to make it 4-0 in the second half, racing on to a gorgeous pass from Marco Verratti and coolly converting.

The 22-year-old started his career with Monaco, making his debut in 2015-16 before going on to star as the principality club charged to the title the following season.

Having earned his move to PSG, Mbappe has gone from strength to strength, and scored his 100th goal for the club in all competitions when he netted in a 3-1 win over Montpellier in December.

Mbappe is now a Ligue 1 centurion and, using Opta data, here is a breakdown of his 100 strikes in France's top tier.

Mbappe's 100 Ligue 1 goals 

2015-16

Mbappe opened his Ligue 1 account in February 2016, scoring a stoppage-time goal in Monaco's 3-1 triumph over Troyes. It was the only "big chance", as per Opta metrics, that the youngster had that season, while he also crafted four chances across 11 league appearances in total.

2016-17

As far as breakthrough seasons go, Mbappe's 2016-17 performance is up there with the very best. From 29 Ligue 1 appearances – 17 of them coming as starts – Mbappe scored 15 goals, created 31 chances and missed only five big opportunities. He scored his final top-flight goal for Monaco in a 2-0 win over Saint-Etienne. 

2017-18

Arriving at PSG alongside Neymar, Mbappe managed 13 Ligue 1 strikes from 28 appearances in his first season in Paris. Eight came with his right foot, while five came from his left, with just one of his efforts having come from outside the 18-yard box. His creativity also came to the fore, with the prodigy teeing up 52 opportunities in total.

2018-19

Having starred as France won the 2018 World Cup, Mbappe carried his sensational form into the following season, scoring a spectacular 33 Ligue 1 goals. Remarkably, 30 of these came from his right foot, and none with his head, while his total would have been even better had he put away the 27 big chances that he missed.

2019-20

Injury hampered Mbappe in his third season at PSG, limiting him to just 20 appearances in the league. He still managed 18 goals, none of which came from penalties, and crafted 40 opportunities for his team-mates.

2020-21

It is now 20 Ligue 1 goals for Mbappe this term. After a relatively slow start to the campaign by his standards, he has been in fine form lately, with his sparkling efforts against Barcelona in the Champions League cementing his place at the very top of the game.

Manchester United have secured talented youngster Hannibal Mejbri to a new long-term contract.

The 18-year-old France youth international joined in a reported £9million deal from Monaco in 2019 and has quickly established himself at the club.

Mejbri has already been deemed to have outgrown the Under-18s and is a regular for the club's Under-23s, scoring four goals and registering seven assists this term.

In February, Mejbri and Under-23s team-mate Shole Shoretire were promoted to the senior squad for the rest of the season, only for the former to sustain an injury soon after.

Therefore, Mejbri is likely to return to action first with the second team before making his debut for the senior side once he has recovered.

But having signed a new deal and seen Shoretire – who also recently agreed fresh terms – make his first-team bow, Mejbri's introduction to top-flight football cannot be far off.

United have not confirmed the length of Mejbri's contract, but he was already signed until 2024.

Cristiano Ronaldo's future is dominating headlines.

After Juventus crashed out of the Champions League last 16, Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from Turin.

Could a return to the Spanish capital be on the cards?

 

TOP STORY – RONALDO ON MADRID'S RADAR

Real Madrid are interested in bringing Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club, according to the frontpage of Monday's Diario AS.

Ronaldo – Madrid's all-time leading goalscorer – left Los Blancos for Juventus in 2018 but his future with the Serie A champions is far from certain following their Champions League elimination.

Diario AS says Ronaldo represents an easier and quicker target than Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.

Marca, though, insists Ronaldo's possible return does not alter Madrid's objectives as they weigh up either Haaland – heavily linked to Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona, Juve, PSG and Liverpool – or Mbappe.

 

ROUND-UP

- TodoFichajes reports United will turn their attention to Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres if they miss out on star Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, whose contract expires at season's end.

Chelsea and United want to sign Rennes star Eduardo Camavinga, claims Diario AS. Camavinga has been tipped to join Madrid, while PSG have also emerged as a possible destination.

Bayern Munich are in danger of losing head coach Hansi Flick, claims Bild. Flick has been named as a possible replacement for Germany boss Joachim Low. It comes as Bild says Flick's relationship with Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic is worse than previously known, while RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann has reportedly been sounded out.

- Football Insider reports Barca's move for Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is "95 per cent done". The Dutchman is set to become a free agent.

City are set to make an approach for Sporting CP left-back and Madrid target Nuno Mendes, says Diario AS.

- ESPN claims Barca are tracking Rapid Vienna sensation Yusuf Demir. The 17-year-old is also reportedly wanted by City, United, Dortmund and Bayern.

- Ligue 1 side Monaco are interested in a two-year loan deal for Bayern goalkeeper Alexander Nubel, according to Kicker. Monaco are led by former Bayern head coach Niko Kovac.

Erling Haaland continues to dominate headlines.

The Borussia Dortmund sensation is one of the most sought-after players in Europe.

Manchester City and Real Madrid are reportedly going head-to-head to sign the Norwegian.

 

TOP STORY – AGUERO OUT, HAALAND IN?

Manchester City want to sign Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland as a replacement for veteran forward Sergio Aguero, according to Bild.

Aguero, who has been hampered by injury this season, is out of contract at the end of the current campaign.

Haaland is a player in demand, having been linked to Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

But Haaland dominates the front pages of Thursday's Marca, Diario AS and Mundo Deportivo in Spain amid Madrid's interest.

The Norway international reportedly wants to listen to Madrid, who will need €150million to prise Haaland to the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato reports Lyon star Houssem Aouar remains on the radar of Juventus. Aouar has previously been linked with the Serie A champions, as well as Arsenal.

Chelsea are interested in Monaco's defensive midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, claims ESPN.

- O Jogo says Liverpool could reignite their interest in Sporting CP defender Nuno Mendes. Juve, Madrid and Milan have also been tracking the 18-year-old, who has a £60m (€70m) release clause.

Edinson Cavani is open to extending his United contract, according to Fabrizio Romano. Cavani joined United as a free agent on a one-year deal at the start of the season. The former PSG star has been linked with Boca Juniors.

Lionel Messi is reportedly open to staying at Barcelona, but the LaLiga giants have work to do.

Messi, 33, stayed at Barca after sensationally requesting to leave ahead of this season.

But the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is out of contract at the end of the campaign, leading to more talk over his future.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI OPEN TO BARCELONA STAY

Messi is open to staying at Barcelona and is prioritising the sporting project over the economic offer, according to Marca.

The report says Barca strengthening their squad could convince Messi, who has been linked to Manchester City.

Signing City forward Sergio Aguero, Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, Chelsea's N'Golo Kante or Liverpool's Roberto Firmino would help Barca's position in their bid to re-sign the superstar.

ROUND-UP

- With Real Madrid linked with a move for Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, such a deal could lead to questions over Eden Hazard. AS reports Mbappe joining Madrid could lead to an exit for Hazard, who has struggled with injuries since joining the LaLiga giants.

- Staying at Real Madrid and there is uncertainty over Raphael Varane's future. AS reports Madrid are prepared to listen to offers for Varane ahead of next season if they cannot agree to a new deal with the defender, who is out of contract in 2022. Manchester United have been linked with Varane, who is valued at £60.7million (€70m).

- Harry Kane has again starred for Tottenham this season. The Telegraph reports the forward, who is contracted until 2024, is set to stay at Spurs for at least another campaign.

- Amid suggestions Sevilla defender Jules Kounde is too expensive, Manchester United could look elsewhere. Eurosport reports Villarreal's Pau Torres may be a more realistic target due to his reported release clause of around £43m (€49.6m).

- Alexandre Lacazette seems set for an Arsenal exit. The Mirror reports Monaco are targeting the forward ahead of next season.

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino insisted Kylian Mbappe's below-par display was not solely to blame for Sunday's 2-0 defeat against Monaco.

In-form Monaco upset Ligue 1 champions PSG in a blow to their title hopes as the Parisians slipped four points behind leaders Lille with 12 games remaining.

PSG have already lost six Ligue 1 games this season, their worst tally in a single campaign since the beginning of the Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) era in 2011/-2, and their worst since the 2010-11 campaign (eight).

Mbappe grabbed global headlines in midweek with his hat-trick against Barcelona in the Champions League but Monaco put extra work into minimising his impact in the French capital.

Pochettino, though, leapt to the defence of Mbappe – who continues to be linked with LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

"Today, it's not only Kylian but the whole team that hasn't been at the level," Pochettino said post-game.

"That didn't show what it takes to win. But as I said, the first person responsible is the manager and I take responsibility for it.

"When you lose, the first person responsible is the manager and I fully assume it."

Niko Kovac said Monaco had to nullify star Kylian Mbappe as he revealed how the French side shocked Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Monaco became the first team to beat PSG twice in a single Ligue 1 season since Nancy in 2011-12 thanks to Sunday's 2-0 upset in Paris.

Sofiane Diop opened the scoring in the sixth minute before Monaco defender Guillermo Maripan doubled the lead six minutes into the second half.

Mbappe was kept quiet by fourth-placed Monaco, who moved within two points of PSG and six of leaders Lille through 26 matches.

Afterwards, Monaco head coach Kovac told Canal+: "I am very happy with the performance of my team. Paris are a great team.

"We played very hard for 90 minutes and we deserved the victory. They didn't have a lot of opportunities. I have to congratulate my players.

"Our plan? We had to erase Kylian Mbappe because he's a great striker. Deprive him of the ball by being three or four on him. In defence, we showed another face of Monaco, because we didn't concede many chances.

"Tonight was wonderful. This is what we needed. We managed to beat PSG for the second time, now we are going home and going to rest."

Kovac's Monaco have won their last six away games in Ligue 1 – only Lille (seven) are on a longer current run.

Monaco's only previous longer win streak away from home in the top flight was in February-August 2017 (eight).

"The top three? As I said before, we mainly have to increase the gap with the fifth and sixth," added former Bayern Munich boss Kovac, who is leading Monaco back to the upper echelon of Ligue 1, having languished ninth and 17th in the previous two seasons.

"There are still a few games left, if we have the opportunity to close the gap then we will do it. But we are not yet at the level of the first three."

Marco Verratti acknowledged Paris Saint-Germain are "starting to lose a lot of opportunities" to retain the Ligue 1 title after their 2-0 home defeat to Monaco.

Five days after their thrilling 4-1 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League, PSG crashed to a damaging loss at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

The defeat is the second of Mauricio Pochettino's tenure and leaves PSG third in Ligue 1, two points ahead of Monaco, in fourth, and four behind leaders Lille.

It means PSG remain winless in their four games against the other sides currently in Ligue 1's top-four positions this season, losing 3-2 and 2-0 to Monaco, 1-0 at home to Lyon and drawing 0-0 at Lille.

Verratti, outstanding against Barca, came on as a 55th-minute substitute in Paris, going on to attempt 43 passes – with an accuracy of 81.4 per cent – and create one chance.

"It was a difficult match; they have very good players, we knew it. It's the kind of match you have to win," Verratti told Canal+. "We are starting to lose a lot of opportunities for the title.

"We concede a goal after five minutes, that can't happen. We have to understand that there are great teams in France.

"We must always play as a team; no one gives us gifts, the other teams are playing the game of their lives against us.

"You have to rise to the occasion, deserve it, play 100 per cent, because otherwise you won't win."

After scoring a hat-trick against Barca, Kylian Mbappe turned in a disappointing performance against his former club.

Since he joined PSG in 2017, Mbappe has scored seven goals against Monaco in Ligue 1; he has only found the net more often against Dijon (nine) in the top-flight during that period.

However, he failed to shine on Sunday. The 22-year-old did not register an attempt on goal and created just one chance.

Pochettino refused to pin the defeat on Mbappe, though.

"In football there are many situations, different opponents, different circumstances," Pochettino told a news conference.

"Football is not mathematical. We weren't at the level today to win at the collective level, not just Kylian. If we have to find a responsible, it's me."

Paris Saint-Germain crashed back to earth with a bump after their Champions League heroics as they suffered a 2-0 Ligue 1 defeat to Monaco on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino's side claimed a stunning 4-1 win over Barcelona in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday, but they never looked like scaling those heights as they slumped to a sixth league defeat of the season.

Sofiane Diop's sixth goal of the campaign handed Monaco an early lead before Guillermo Maripan put the game beyond the hosts' reach shortly after the interval.

The result means third-placed PSG are four points behind leaders Lille, who beat Lorient 4-1 earlier in the day, with Niko Kovac's Monaco two points back in fourth.

Monaco went ahead after just six minutes, Diop heading past Keylor Navas from six yards after Kevin Volland nodded Ruben Aguilar's cross into his path.

That did little to spark PSG into life, and the home team struggled to carve out any clear opportunities in the first half.

The closest they came was when Idrissa Gueye's powerful drive from distance flashed past Benjamin Lecomte's right-hand post.

Things did not get any better for PSG after the interval as Maripan dispossessed Ander Herrera in the penalty area before slotting a fine finish past Navas from 15 yards to double Monaco's advantage in the 51st minute.

Volland inexplicably headed wide from four yards soon after, but it mattered little in the end as Monaco held on to stretch their unbeaten run in Ligue 1 to 11 games.


What does it mean? PSG slump against top-four opposition... again

The swashbuckling side that demolished Barca in midweek was nowhere to be seen at the Parc des Princes as PSG - who managed just one shot on target - suffered a first home defeat in Ligue 1 since Lyon triumphed in the capital on December 13.

Indeed, the defending champions are now winless in their four games against the other sides in the league's top four positions this season. That does not bode well for Pochettino's chances of sealing his first title win as head coach.

Aguilar epitomises Monaco display

Aguilar was at the heart of everything good about Monaco’s fine win. His cross led to Diop’s opener – one of a team-high two key passes – while he made three clearances and three interceptions.

Herrera well off the pace

The former Manchester United midfielder endured a game to forget and it was little surprise to see him hauled off before the hour mark. He was at fault for Monaco's second goal and failed to register a single shot or key pass during his time on the pitch.

What's next?

PSG will hope to return to winning ways when they visit Dijon on Saturday, while Monaco host Brest a day later.

Paris Saint-Germain's aggregate lead over Barcelona will not result in a change in Neymar's scheduled return from injury.

Kylian Mbappe made up for the absence of his star team-mate on Tuesday, with his sensational hat-trick propelling Mauricio Pochettino's PSG to a 4-1 victory at Camp Nou in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie.

Neymar – who scored twice in Barca's famous 6-5 aggregate triumph over PSG in 2017 – missed the game through an adductor injury sustained in a Coupe de France win over Caen.

The 29-year-old is set to miss four weeks, which would put him in line to be available for the return leg against his former club at the Parc des Princes on March 10.

However, asked if PSG's 4-1 lead heading into the game will mean there is less pressure on Neymar to recover on schedule, Pochettino insisted the result has had no impact on the Brazilian's lay off.

"Neymar's recovery is following the plans put in place and the strategy by our medical team," Pochettino told a news conference ahead of Sunday's Ligue 1 clash with Monaco.

"Whether it's one game, one competition or another, the priority is the player's well-being.

"We want players to get back as quickly as they can, but not linked to any specific game. The priority is for Neymar to make a good recovery and he will be back in the week when he is back."

Moise Kean also stepped up to fill the void left by Neymar, and scored the other goal in PSG's rout, heading in from Leandro Paredes' free-kick.

Kean, on loan from Everton, has now netted on his last three starts across all competitions, taking his tally to the season for 14 in total – he has scored a goal every 1.5 shots on target in Ligue 1 this season (10 goals, 15 shots on target), with only Lens' Gael Kakuta (1.3) having a better ratio in the top-flight among players with five or more goals.

"I was not surprised by Moise Kean's performance, if I said I was surprised it would be for a different reason," Pochettino replied when asked if Kean's display at the Camp Nou had shocked him.

"I think he has confirmed he has the potential that we knew about, but players don't surprise us in our team.

"When we take a decision to include a player – possibly they are young or playing in a different position – it's because of what we've seen in training and we think they can contribute positively in the match.

"Sometimes they may not perform as we expect, but he certainly does not surprise us."

With Monaco going into Sunday's game on the back of a 10-game unbeaten streak in Ligue 1 – the best current run in the division – Pochettino also stressed that PSG must avoid complacency, especially with the defending champions having taken only one point from their three matches against teams also in the top four this season.

"PSG is a club that has to win, and that is our responsibility," added Pochettino, who has suffered just one defeat, at Lorient on January 31, since he took over at PSG.

"I don't think you can relax in any way, or use that as an excuse not to perform in the same way we have been doing, and as we did against Barca.

"If we think we can be calmer we would unconsciously be making a big mistake, you have to respect everyone in football and always give your best in every competition.

"That's why we have to work hard, with enthusiasm and focus, so that competing at our best becomes a habit."

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