For the eleventh time in French history, PSG has triumphed.

DailyStar || Shining BD

Published: 5/28/2023 6:06:54 AM
Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi scores their first goal. Photo: Reuters

Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi scores their first goal. Photo: Reuters

Lionel Messi's goal in a 1-1 draw away at Strasbourg on Saturday gave Paris Saint-Germain a French league championship for the 11th time in league history.

With one game left in the season, PSG has an unbeatable four-point lead over Lens despite Kevin Gameiro's equalizer canceling out Messi's opening goal.

PSG surpassed the previous mark of 10 titles held by Saint-Etienne from 1981, which they had previously tied under former coach Mauricio Pochettino a year earlier.

It is PSG's ninth championship in the previous 11 years, a time frame in which they have dominated French football while being owned by Qatar.

With just six points left to play for and a significantly better goal differential than Lens, PSG entered the penultimate weekend of the season six points ahead of their closest rivals.

Even in defeat, a mistake by Lens would have given the capital team the title with one game remaining, but in the end, they needed the draw as their rivals cruised to a 3-0 victory over already-relegated Ajaccio.

Just before the hour, Kylian Mbappe assisted Messi on his 16th Ligue 1 goal of the year to give PSG the lead.

With 11 minutes remaining, former Paris striker Gameiro equalized by putting in the rebound after Gianluigi Donnarumma had stopped Morgan Sanson.

In the end, the draw benefited both teams because it allowed Strasbourg to secure their place in the top division.

Prior to the World Cup, PSG had a fantastic start to the season and didn't drop a match in any competition.

However, they dropped six of their opening 17 league contests in 2023, lost to Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League, and reached the same stage of the French Cup.

These outcomes fueled rumors that Christophe Galtier, the team's coach, would be fired during the offseason. Galtier also led Lille to the title two years ago.

Messi's contract with PSG is set to expire at the end of the current season, so next weekend's game against Clermont at home is probably going to be his final appearance in a PSG uniform.

Lens secures a Champions League spot.

With their victory over Ajaccio, Lens earned second place and a spot in the Champions League group stage for the following season. Deiver Machado, Adrien Thomasson, and Lois Openda scored goals in the first half to complete the victory.

Openda, a Belgian striker, scored his 20th goal in Ligue 1 so far this year from the penalty spot.

Therefore, Marseille, which suffered a 2-1 home loss to Brest on Saturday, will have to settle for third place and will play in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.

With a 2-1 victory over Nantes, Lille moved up to fourth place and are in prime position to advance to the Europa League below them.

Relegation-threatened Nantes took the lead in the far north thanks to Quentin Merlin, but Lille won thanks to two penalties from Jonathan David of Canada in the second half.

After the Brittany team's 2-0 victory, Lille are now one point ahead of both Rennes and Monaco, who play each other on Saturday. Lovro Majer and Amine Gouiri scored in the second half.

Fifth-place Rennes is ahead of Monaco on goal differential. Sixth place does not qualify for Europe at all, while fifth place enters the Europa Conference League for the upcoming season.

Despite winning 3-0 against Reims and Alexandre Lacazette scoring his 27th Ligue 1 goal of the year, which puts him just one behind Mbappe as the league's leading scorer, Lyon's chances of qualifying for Europe were effectively over.

As they currently sit in 17th place, two points behind Auxerre, who drew 1-1 at Toulouse, Nantes will need to win in the final weekend in order to have any chance of avoiding relegation.

Troyes, Angers, and Ajaccio have already been demoted. The top flight is down from 20 clubs to 18 for the upcoming season, with four teams moving down and only two moving up.

On Saturday, Angers, Nice, and Clermont all earned victories.

Shining BD