PSG seal Champions League spot as Chelsea await
Runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain tuned up for their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Chelsea on Tuesday with a morale boosting 3-0 home win over Reims.
Paris' forward Edinson Cavani reacts after opening the scoring during a French L1 football match against Reims at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on April 5, 2014 - by Thomas Samson
Laurent Blanc's in form side carry a 3-1 advantage to Stamford Bridge against Jose Mourinho's men, and maximum points at a sunbathed Parc des Princes on Saturday guaranteed them Champions League football for next season.
Despite the absence of injured top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who will miss the London tie, Edinson Cavani picked up the slack with a 43rd minute opener before the visitors collapsed after the break.
French-born Algerian international Aissa Mandi was the unfortunate victim of two own goals, the first three minutes after the restart and a second with time running out.
The three points not only extends PSG's lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 12 points over Monaco, who host Nantes on Sunday, but also lifts them an insurmountable 22 points above third-placed Lille, who have seven matches left.
The top two teams in Ligue 1 advance directly to the 2014-15 Champions League group stages while the third must negotiate qualifying.
With domestic duties well under control, Blanc can now concentrate on the showdown in west London as PSG chase a place in the semi-finals for the first time since their solitary appearance back in 1995.
A second straight French title under Qatari ownership appears assured and they are also well on track to better Lyon's record of 84 points achieved in 2005-06.
Later on Saturday, Lille will try to protect third place and their three point advantage over idle Saint-Etienne with a delicate trip south to eighth-placed Toulouse.
Saint-Etienne will know where they stand by the time they take to the pitch on Sunday when they host Nice in the early kickoff.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Bastia await Sochaux in a key game at the bottom while Rennes are on the road at Bordeaux, Guingamp host Montpellier and Evian travel to Lorient in Brittany.
The other Sunday fixture sees fifth-placed Lyon looking for maximum away points at third-from-bottom Valenciennes in a bid to rekindle their charge for a European spot.