Mauricio Pochettino saluted the respect and professionalism demonstrated by Paris Saint-Germain during their Coupe de France win over Vannes.

The reigning champions resumed their latest title defence with a comfortable 4-0 victory over the fourth-tier outfit at Stade de la Rabine.

Kylian Mbappe scored a second-half hat-trick – including his 150th goal for the club in all competitions – after Presnel Kimpembe broke the deadlock in the 28th minute.

PSG have now scored seven times without reply in their opening two matches of this season's competition.

Mbappe and Kimpembe were among only a handful of senior players to feature for the visitors as Pochettino handed youth an opportunity to impress.

And the head coach underlined the importance of giving his younger players exposure at a senior level.

During his post-match interview on Eurosport, he said: "Respect is always the most important thing, that's what I told the players. 

"We were very professional, I am very happy with this performance of the team. 

"The goal was to qualify for the next round, it's done.

"We have an incredible academy, it's important that they are on the pitch and that they can participate in this adventure of the first team. 

"We have very, very good players, it's important for the club to have this pool. 

"We will try to believe in them, to give them the opportunity to play."

Kylian Mbappe scored a second-half hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain breezed through to the Coupe de France last 16 with a 4-0 win over Vannes.

Presnel Kimpembe was also on target for the defending champions, who remain unbeaten in 90 minutes in the competition since 2014.

The skipper headed the runaway Ligue 1 leaders in front after 28 minutes at Stade de la Rabine.

Mbappe then took centre stage after the break, striking three times to put the fourth-tier side to the sword.

Unbeaten against lower-league opposition in the Coupe de France since 2010, a much-changed PSG quickly imposed their authority on proceedings, enjoying over three-quarters of the possession.

The visitors, who have won six of the last seven editions of this competition, also registered eight shots inside the opening 25 minutes, with Kimpembe, Xavi Simons, Ander Herrera and Georginio Wijnaldum all drawing saves from Clement Petrel.

But there was no denying Kimpembe, who broke the deadlock with a free header from Nuno Mendes' corner.

Kimpembe turned provider 14 minutes after the restart, Mbappe latching onto his hopeful long ball and racing away before doubling the lead.

The France striker made it 3-0 in emphatic fashion in the 71st minute as he fired a stunning 20-yard effort into the top corner from Simons' pass.

That was the talisman's fourth brace in as many appearances for PSG in all competitions.

But hungry for more, he completed his hat-trick five minutes later, playing a neat one-two with Eric Ebimbe before sliding into the empty net.

Kylian Mbappe has convinced Mauricio Pochettino he will not be affected by transfer speculation as Paris Saint-Germain battle to keep the striker from Real Madrid's clutches.

France frontman Mbappe was targeted by Madrid in August and the Spanish giants are expected to attempt to sign the 23-year-old once more, with his contract less than six months away from expiring.

So far, Mbappe has given little indication about his plans, and it is an enviable choice that awaits the former Monaco player.

PSG head coach Pochettino will keep his focus on matters on the pitch, with contract negotiations not part of his remit. Mbappe could leave on a free transfer, but PSG hope he will agree to lucrative terms on a long-term extension.

Pochettino has been assured by Mbappe's words and deeds that the player who has 15 goals in 24 games this season will not be distracted by the question of where he will be playing next term.

"I think the contract situations in football only affects you if you are not mature enough," Pochettino said in a news conference on Sunday.

"Kylian Mbappe is mature and we know what the conditions are here. We do not think it is a problem. We all hope Kylian Mbappe can stay at the club for many years, but there are two sides to making this decision.

"We hope that Kylian Mbappe continues performing as he has been doing and that there is a positive solution for everyone."

Mbappe has said he has no intention of jumping ship in mid-season, meaning PSG can plan around him for the rest of this campaign.

They lead Ligue 1 and are through to the last 16 of the Champions League, where Madrid of all teams will be their opponents, which will inevitably trigger a new wave of speculation.

Speaking to CNN, Mbappe said in December: "No, I'm not joining Real Madrid in January. In January it's not happening.

"I'm in Paris Saint-Germain, I'm really happy, and I will 100 per cent finish the season as a PSG player. I'll give everything to win with Paris all titles this year."

PSG will hope to win the Coupe de France again, after taking that title in six of the last seven seasons, and begin their campaign against fourth-tier outfit Vannes on Monday.

"I like the Coupe de France," said Pochettino. "It's the oldest competition in France, we love this competition and playing against teams like Vannes. That's real football, it's a football that speaks to everyone and we can’t wait to be there."

Lionel Messi has tested positive for COVID-19, Paris Saint-Germain have announced.

The Argentine forward and seven-time Ballon d'Or winner will miss the Coupe de France game against Vannes on Monday as a result.

French giants PSG said Juan Bernat, Sergio Rico and Nathan Bitumazala had also tested positive.

"They are currently in isolation and are subject to the appropriate health protocol," the Ligue 1 leaders announced on their website.

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino is expected to field a young side in the domestic cup game, with Neymar also unavailable as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.

PSG said Neymar would continue to be treated in Brazil for another week. "His return to training is still expected to be in about three weeks," the club said.

Pochettino said in a news conference: "We have been living with the virus for two years now, and I think we all know we need to avoid it.

"But it is a virus we have been living with for a long time and there is still a lot that we do not know about how it works.

"Leo Messi has been in regular contact with our medical team and when he has a negative test he will travel to France, and we do not know any more than that."

PSG play their first Ligue 1 game of 2022 against Lyon next Sunday, but with former Barcelona captain Messi currently in Argentina he appears to be a significant doubt for that fixture.

"I do not know if he will be involved against Lyon," Pochettino said. "Until Leo Messi gets a negative test in Argentina, he will not be able to travel to France.

"It is all down to the test in terms of when he can travel. When he does, we will assess when he is ready to play."

Lyon were expelled from the Coupe de France on Monday, paying the price for crowd trouble that caused their last-64 tie at Paris FC to be abandoned.

Paris FC were also banished from the competition and served with a five-game stadium closure, while Lyon's supporters have been banned from travelling to all domestic away games for the rest of the season.

The December 17 tie between the sides was called off at half-time as fans clashed at the Charlety stadium. Supporters appeared to be fighting in the stands and several flares were thrown before a number of fans made their way onto the pitch.

Lyon declared they would look to identify the individuals responsible and serve them with lifetime stadium bans, and the French Football Federation (FFF) has now handed down severe punishments to both clubs. The winner of the game had been due to play Nice in the next round.

An FFF disciplinary commission met on Monday and decided both teams should be ruled to have lost the match, imposing the stadium ban and a fine of €10,000 on Paris FC.

The FFF stated that Lyon fans would be banned from attending away games until the end of the 2021-22 campaign, in "a sanction that applies to all competitions organised by the FFF and the LFP [Ligue de Football Professionnel] in which the first team is involved".

Lyon have also received a suspended ban from next year's Coupe de France, which could be imposed in the event of supporters causing trouble again. On top of that, the Ligue 1 club were fined €52,000 and ordered to meet the costs of repairing seats damaged by their supporters at Charlety.

It was the second time a recent game involving Lyon has had to be ended prematurely, with their Ligue 1 encounter at home to Marseille on November 21 also abandoned after a spectator threw a bottle that struck Dimitri Payet inside the opening five minutes. That led to Lyon being docked a point as punishment.

Lyon have been usurped by Paris Saint-Germain as France's leading team in the past decade. Beginning in 2001-02, Lyon won seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles. They finished fourth last season and sit 13th this term, in a congested mid-table.

Paris FC, a club living in PSG's shadows, are third in Ligue 2.

Mauricio Pochettino said Sergio Ramos' withdrawal at half-time in the 3-0 Coupe de France win over minnows Feignies-Aulnoye was planned as part of his return from injury. 

Sunday's clash against the fifth-tier side – won thanks to a brace from Kylian Mbappe and a Mauro Icardi penalty – was just the 35-year-old's second appearance for PSG, who he joined on a free transfer ahead of the 2021-22 campaign after leaving Real Madrid.

His substitution at the interval suggested he had suffered a further setback in his bid to return to full fitness, but Pochettino insisted there is nothing to be concerned about.

"He's been with us for six months and he had a very difficult start to his adventure," the PSG boss told Eurosport.

"He wants to play. Today was very good. We resume little by little with these 45 minutes. 

"It was important for him and he needs to be in good shape to be able to help us. He still has to work a lot."

The involvement of the likes of Mbappe, Icardi and Marco Verratti was proof that Pochettino did not take PSG's opposition lightly, and the former Tottenham boss said he was pleased with his side's "professional" approach.

"I think they were very professional," he added. "It's never easy in these kinds of matches because these kinds of teams are completely different. You have to be serious and approach the match in the best possible conditions. 

"But I think our game was very professional. It was what we wanted. We have qualified for the next round."

 

Highly-rated teenager Xavi Simons made his first start for the club, impressing on the right-hand side of a front three.

He had five shots and made five key passes – a total bettered only by Verratti on the pitch.

Pochettino was pleased with his display and is confident the club's youngsters will continue to benefit from playing alongside such established stars.

"We have incredible players at PSG, and in particular talented young people who have the opportunity to train with the first team and to play sometimes," he said. 

"We can give them that opportunity. PSG are a special, different club, and they need to play, to learn, but I am very satisfied with what I saw tonight, especially from the young people."

Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 3-0 win over minnows Feignies-Aulnoye in Sunday's Coupe de France round-of-64 clash

PSG never looked in danger of suffering an upset against their fifth-tier opponents, and they went 2-0 up after 30 minutes through penalties from Mbappe and Mauro Icardi.

Former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was withdrawn at the interval on just his second appearance for the Parisians, perhaps not the best sign as he continues his recovery from injury, before Mbappe added a third goal early in the second period.

The Ligue 1 leaders, who have lifted the trophy in six of the last seven seasons, continued to create chances but ultimately fell short of adding gloss to the scoreline.

PSG went ahead in the 16th minute through Mbappe's penalty after the France international had been brought down inside the area by Ibrahima Diedhiou.

Icardi, who had earlier seen an effort ruled out for offside, inexplicably struck the post from close range midway through the first half, although he made amends on the half-hour mark, stroking home from the spot after Mbappe had been fouled by Gary Gerard Marigard.

Mbappe blazed wide when clean through as PSG failed to add to their tally before the interval, despite taking a whopping 20 shots in the first half.

The 22-year-old grabbed his second in the 51st minute, slotting home Colin Dagba's cut-back from the right.

PSG teenager Ismael Gharbi was denied a first professional goal by substitute goalkeeper Jordan Fernand inside the final 20 minutes as PSG booked their place in the next round with the minimum of fuss.


What does it mean? No complacency from Pochettino's men

By naming the likes of Mbappe, Icardi and Marco Verratti in his starting XI, Mauricio Pochettino made it clear he was not taking PSG's significantly less illustrious opponents lightly.

The one concern from an otherwise routine affair was the withdrawal of Ramos at the interval. It has been a hugely disrupted start to life in France for the former Los Blancos star, and it will be hoped any new setback does not keep him out for long.

Mbappe's constant threat

Unsurprisingly, Mbappe was too hot to handle for Feignies-Aulnoye's defence. The World Cup winner won both penalties, the first of which he converted, and he scored a second goal in a display brimming with his usual blend of electric pace and skill.

Ebimbe squanders chance to shine

Eric Ebimbe rarely looked like opening his account for PSG during a disappointing showing. The 21-year-old, who was replaced in the 64th minute by Gharbi, had just a single shot on target and failed to play a key pass in a display that will surely be considered a missed opportunity.

What's next?

Runaway Ligue 1 leaders PSG play their last game of 2021 on Wednesday when they travel to Lorient.

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino says Sergio Ramos could be involved in Sunday’s Coupe de France clash with fifth-tier Feignies-Aulnoye.

Ramos has only featured once for PSG since arriving from Real Madrid on a free transfer due a calf injury.

The veteran defender made his long-awaited debut in last month’s win at Saint-Etienne, but fresh muscle problems culminated in another spell on the sidelines.

Pochettino revealed he could return on Sunday when the runaway Ligue 1 leaders launch their Coupe de France defence against a side four divisions lower than them and the former Tottenham boss is also set to give young players an opportunity at Stade de Hainaut.

"We think [Sergio] will be in the squad tomorrow. We will see if he starts or is on the bench," Pochettino said.

"He has trained well over the last few days, so we will see if he can help in the game tomorrow.

"It is a good opportunity for the young players to get a chance, and some of them will get to play and be involved with the first team. 

"They are very motivated about that, and it is important for them to feel part of this project."

PSG boast a proud record in the competition, lifting the trophy in six of the last seven years.

They are unbeaten against lower-league opposition since 2010, and you must go back a further 20 years for their last defeat at this stage.

Nevertheless, Pochettino has called for respect and professionalism from his players.

"The priority is always to win. There is no other priority," he added.

"Playing against Feignies-Aulnoye gives us a chance to share something special against a team in the fifth tier. It is a wonderful thing in football that you only get in the cup.

"The motivation and excitement for them to play against Paris Saint-Germain is massive. We know how they play, what they are trying to do against us. 

"But for us, we must show respect, be professional and play in the way that we want to play; try to win and be in the next round."

Lyon have announced that their fans will temporarily be prevented from attending away games after crowd trouble saw their Coupe de France tie at Paris FC abandoned.

The last 64 clash at the Charlety stadium in the French capital was suspended in the second half, with the scoreline 1-1 after goals from Paris FC's Gaetan Laura and Lyon's Moussa Dembele.

Supporters appeared to be fighting in the stands and several flares were thrown before a number of fans made their way onto the pitch, stopping the game from continuing. 

It was the second time a game involving Lyon has had to be ended prematurely of late, with their Ligue 1 game at home to Marseille on November 21 also called off after a spectator threw a bottle that struck Dimitri Payet, leading to Lyon being docked a point as punishment.

Lyon released a statement on Saturday explaining their intention to identify the individuals responsible and serve them with lifetime stadium bans, and explained that supporters will not be allowed at away matches while the investigation is taking place.

"From Friday evening, Olympique Lyonnais made itself available to investigators and authorities so that light is shed on all the acts committed during this evening and that responsibilities are established, whether [an] agricultural bomb inside the parking lot at the start of half-time, smoke bombs, violence and the invasion of the ground," the club statement read.
 
"Olympique Lyonnais will assume all of its responsibilities and is now showing an extreme determination to see the people involved, whatever their club membership, be sanctioned.
 
"Thus, Olympique Lyonnais has decided to file a complaint after this outbreak of violence and will take the most severe measures against the people involved after the identifications, including against the Lyon supporters who would be concerned.
 
"Olympique Lyonnais security teams have already started to analyse all the images and will use all the tools at their disposal to punish each person who is identified. Olympique Lyonnais will apply with force and determination the maximum penalties, including the stadium ban for life.
 
"The individuals involved have no place in a stadium, violence can no longer be tolerated in the stadiums. These must be the subject of technological adjustments and be better organized to identify the troublemakers. Violence must be firmly condemned by all football players, including groups of supporters.
 
"More than ever, we must eradicate these phenomena of hooliganism and banish all those who are enemies, by their acts, of football, but also of the clubs they claim to be.
 
"In this context, until further notice, and until light is shed on the identification of the perpetrators, Olympique Lyonnais decides to ban groups of supporters for away matches."

France Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet explained that the disciplinary committee would meet to discuss potential courses of action to deal with the problem in French football.

"We are waiting to have all the elements before communicating," Le Graet said to RMC Sport. "Obviously, I deplore these incidents which are disastrous.

"I do not want to get into the controversy. Monday, all the teams of the Federation will be at work. The disciplinary committee should meet that same day, after discussions with our legal department."

Kylian Mbappe is delighted to get the chance to play alongside Karim Benzema at Euro 2020, declaring there are not many better players than the Real Madrid forward.

Benzema, 33, earned his first France call-up in over five years on Tuesday when he was included in Didier Deschamps' squad for the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

Mbappe, meanwhile, continued his excellent season with a brilliant display in Paris Saint-Germain's 2-0 win over Monaco in the Coupe de France final on Wednesday, teeing up Mauro Icardi's opener and scoring himself late on.

It was the eighth direct goal involvement of Mbappe's Coupe de France campaign (five games), topping his previous best of seven in the competition, set in 2017-18.

Yet the main focus in the post-match news conference was on Benzema's return to Les Bleus' squad.

"I'm very happy. I've always said that I wanted to play with great players," said Mbappe.

"Benzema, I didn't [play with him]. There is not many [players] above him in the world. He will bring us a lot.

"He played at Madrid for 10 years, the pressure, he knows, he has the experience and the talent above all. The big players adapt. I'm sure he will adapt very quickly."

Mbappe was also asked if he would be in place to help PSG push on for a 15th Coupe de France trophy next season.

"We must take advantage of this title," he answered with a smile, deflecting the question somewhat. 

"Look at all the people who are happy! This is most important. And I am the happiest!"

PSG have won two trophies this season under Mauricio Pochettino, and the Ligue 1 title race is going down to the wire. Should they beat Brest on Sunday, and Lille drop points against Angers, the capital club will snatch the top-flight crown.

"We work every day to have this type of emotion, reward and recognition," Mbappe added.

"It's the work of a whole group, a whole staff, who work every day for us, for the club. The supporters, the title is for them too.

"When you play for Paris Saint-Germain, one of the best clubs in the world, the biggest in the country, every title counts."

Monaco boss Niko Kovac, meanwhile, said there was one major difference between the teams at Stade de France.

"The difference tonight is Mbappe," he said.

"He is one of the best players in the world, if not the best at the moment. All the clubs are fighting to have him. We had him, we no longer have him."

Paris Saint-Germain retained their Coupe de France crown as Kylian Mbappe turned in a star display in a 2-0 win over Monaco at the Stade de France.

Without the suspended Neymar, PSG relied on Mbappe in Paris and the former Monaco prodigy delivered with an assist for Mauro Icardi's opener before rounding off the win himself late on.

Trailing from the 19th minute, Monaco huffed and puffed, but the closest Niko Kovac's team came to an equaliser was when Gelson Martins' deflected cross clipped the crossbar.

Monaco's defeat in their first appearance in a Coupe de France final in 11 years was sealed with nine minutes remaining, Mbappe dinking home to seal PSG's 14th triumph in the competition.

Neymar may have been missing for Mauricio Pochettino's side, but PSG's other key man was at the heart of their opener.

Having pounced on Axel Disasi's heavy touch following a goal-kick, Mbappe kept his cool to tee up Icardi for a simple finish into an empty net.

Alessandro Florenzi drew a save out of Radoslaw Majecki as PSG pressed for a second, though Keylor Navas had to smother Kevin Volland's header at the other end.

Wissam Ben Yedder will be at Euro 2020 after another excellent season, but the France forward – and Monaco's talisman – was replaced after an hour without having registered a shot as PSG continued to keep Kovac's men at arm's length.

Fortune was on PSG's side with 20 minutes remaining – Gelson's cross, which took a deflection, hitting the woodwork after looping over Navas.

Krepin Diatta snatched at an effort from inside the area, though Monaco looked short of ideas, and moments after striking the bar with a long-range chip, Mbappe made sure of the win when he raced onto Angel Di Maria's pass and lofted in a neat finish.

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."

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.

Kylian Mbappe moved to clarify his comments after suggesting Paris Saint-Germain's inconsistent form would be the main reason behind any Ligue 1 title win for Lille.

The France international scored twice on his return from injury in PSG's Coupe de France semi-final with Montpellier on Wednesday, which Mauricio Pochettino's men won on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

PSG, who won the Trophee des Champions earlier this season, may well be banking on cup glory to ensure their season is something of a success given the state of the title race.

Lille are three points ahead at the top of the table with only two games remaining, meaning just four points from matches against Saint-Etienne and Angers will secure a memorable title triumph.

However, speaking after the Montpellier match, Mbappe indicated Lille's own impressive form would not have been enough had PSG shown more consistency.

"If we lose the title, it will be us who have lost it, not they who will have won it," he said to Eurosport 2.

Mbappe then posted to his official Instagram account to explain that Lille would be worthy champions, even if PSG would only have themselves to blame for their own results.

He wrote: "#Respect. Lille would be great champions if they're crowned but with eight defeats, if we lose the title, we are the only ones responsible."

PSG face Reims on Sunday knowing they must match Lille's result if they are to keep up their title defence until the final matchday.

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