The French Ligue 1 capped an epic season this time around with an unlikely title winner, with LOSC Lille being crowned champions.
The French Ligue 1 capped an epic season this time around with an unlikely title winner. LOSC Lille were crowned champions after winning their final game of the season.
Lille were a point clear at the top of the table and only need to win at Angers to capture a well-deserved title. However, defending champions Paris Saint-Germaun were lurking and ready to pounce. If Lille slipped up and PSG won at Brest, they could have clinched a domestic double. It would have been quite the achievement for Mauricio Pochettino’s team given the pressure they have endured this season. From from the dismissal of Thomas Tuchel to the transfer saga surrounding Kylian Mbappe, it has been an eventful year at the Parc des Princes.
The drama wasn’t limited to who would be crowned champions either. Monaco and Lyon were locked in a battle for the final Champions League place. Lyon needed a win to secure a Champions League spot. However, a shock defeat to Nice on the final day meant Monaco’s draw against Lens secured them the Champions League spot.
Amazingly, even the battle for the Europa League went down to wire. Lyon’s defeat dropped them into the Europa League spots along with Marseille.
An early Jonathan David strike and star striker Burak Yilmaz’s penalty in first-half stoppage time ensured that Christophe Galtier’s Lille finished one point ahead of PSG.
The defending champions won 2-0 at Brest but it wasn’t enough. There was a scare for Lille late in the game when Angelo Fulgini scored for Angers in added time.
However, the hosts couldn’t stop Lille becoming champions for the fourth time in their history.
The title triumph came after another away success for Lille, who finish the season unbeaten on the road since November. It also ends a three-year league winning streak for PSG.
It is Lille’s fourth top-flight title in the professional era and their first since 2010-11, when Eden Hazard was named the competition’s player of the year.
This is the second time in nine seasons that PSG have not been crowned champions. Last time it was Monaco who played spoiler, lifting the trophy back in 2016-17.
Lille signed a player in his mid-30s who had never played outside his native Turkey. One can be forgiven for wondering what Lille were doing when they signed Burak Yilmaz arrived to replace Loic Remy.
Yet the Turkey international has found the net 16 times in just 28 matches this season. He could have had more but for a calf injury that laid him low from mid-January to early March, sidelining him for nine league games.