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Football: PSG face uncertain future after double blow

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Paris Saint-Germain may be moving towards their first Ligue 1 crown since 1994, but their exit from two cup competitions and rumours of a management shake-up have put a cloud over the club.

Defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals was followed on Wednesday by a shock French Cup quarter-final elimination at the hands of modest Evian on penalties.

On top of that, star signing David Beckham ran into a barrage of criticism for his sloppy defensive play that led to Evian's equaliser.

Furthermore, doubts about the future of sporting director Leonardo and claims that coach Carlo Ancelotti could replace Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, leaves the big-spending club with several questions marks heading into the off-season.

The 53-year-old Italian was furious with his side's meek Cup exit.

"It's a huge disappointment especially because of the attitude of the team which wasn't good," fumed the former AC Milan and Chelsea handler, whose side have an eight-point lead in Ligue 1.

"You can lose a match but not like that. We had no concentration and no character. Am I angry with the team? Yes! Against the whole team. It was our worst game of the season and our attitude was dreadful."

Meanwhile, five teams are scrapping for the two other Champions League places and Montpellier can get in amongst this bunch if they can defeat Lyon at home on Friday.

The defending champions have enjoyed a remarkable turnaround to their season after an appalling start, and their flamboyant president Louis Nicollin revealed this week that a new coach will be announced on Monday to replace the departing Rene Girard.

"It's practically a done deal but nothing has been signed," said the man who included Diego Maradona on his list of candidates.

Second-placed Marseille host second from bottom Brest on Saturday with a two-point lead on Lyon while fourth-placed Saint Etienne are a further two points back but idle from domestic duty with their League Cup final against Rennes on the schedule.

Nice, who have never qualified for Europe's biggest competition, are also only two points out off third spot ahead of their trip to the Parc des Princes on Sunday to face PSG.

Lille are stalking the top three and a win at Corsican side Bastia could potentially catapult them into third spot should Lyon slip up on the south coast and Nice fail to beat Paris.

At the bottom, Sochaux are one point above the relegation zone and have a home match against Bordeaux while Nancy have their sights focussed on overtaking them if they can take maximum points against an Evian side who have reached their first French Cup semi-final.

Lorient who also reached the last four in midweek travel to Toulouse while Reims host Valenciennes.

Fixtures (all times GMT):

Friday

Montpellier v Lyon (1830)

Saturday

Marseille v Brest (1500)

Sunday

Bastia v Lille (1200), Toulouse v Lorient (1500), Sochaux v Bordeaux (1500), Reims v Valenciennes (1500), Nancy v Evian (1500), Paris Saint-Germain (1900)

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130418/football-psg-face-uncertain-future-after-double-blow