Paris Saint Germain clinch third consecutive French Ligue 1 title
Paris Saint Germain players were exultant after clinching their third straight French Ligue 1 title on Saturday with midfielder Blaise Matuidi insisting this title had been the most enjoyable.sports Updated: May 17, 2015 13:00 IST
Paris Saint Germain won a third straight French Ligue 1 title on Saturday when a 2-1 win at Montpellier gave them an unassailable lead over second-placed Lyon with just one match to play.
PSG came into the match knowing either a point, or Lyon's failure to beat Bordeaux at home, would be enough to clinch the title -- as it happened, Lyon drew 1-1.
Goals from Blaise Matuidi and Ezequiel Lavezzi powered Laurent Blanc's Parisians to an impressive eighth consecutive league win, as they emerged victorious from a cat-and-mouse struggle over the latter part of the season with Lyon.
It was a fifth title in total for Paris Saint-Germain, who were only founded in 1970.
Blanc said he was over the moon watching his players dance around the Montpellier pitch, and the fans celebrate in the stands after the game.
"We had to wait until this penultimate game to win the title but that makes it even more pleasurable than last year in a way. I love this job and I have to thank my staff because without them a coach is nothing," said Blanc.
Lyon may have come up short after leading the table for much of the second half of the season, but they can at least console themselves with a return to the Champions League group stages next season.
Missing injured striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic the Parisians settled their nerves in the 17th minute when Matuidi ran onto a brilliant defence splitting pass from Adrien Rabiot.
He picked up the ball on the edge of the area, ran in on goalkeeper Jonathan Ligali and whipped the ball round him into the bottom right corner for a screaming opener.
Ten minutes later, Lavezzi produced a stunning low drive to round off a piece of collective play that mesmerised the Montellier defence, leaving Ligali no chance due to the ferocity of the Argentine's finish.
Montpellier pulled one back in the 40th minute when winger Anthony Mounier picked up the ball out on the right and produced a dipping lob that beat Salvatore Sirigu's clutching grasp.
After a tense second half where Javier Pastore hit the crossbar for Paris, the players leapt for joy at the final whistle as their 700 travelling fans lit flares and celebrated wildly in their enclosure.
There was also a measure of closure for the Parisians, who were beaten to the 2012 title by Montpellier despite being overwhelming favourites.