It’s not every day that you see Paris Saint-Germain’s hegemony over Ligue 1 challenged by another club, so with LOSC Lille leading the table going into the final matchday of the season, it was always going to be one of the most exciting ends to a Ligue 1 campaign in recent years.
Lille came into Matchday 38 with 80 points – one point clear off PSG who were in second. Any dropped points on Lille’s end would have been enough for PSG to reclaim the title as long as they won their own match. Down in third place were AS Monaco with 77 points who had a bleak, outside chance of winning the league themselves if Lille lost their match and PSG dropped any points in theirs. One point behind Monaco sat Olympique Lyonnais in fourth, who were hoping for Monaco to slip up for them to take the third place and return to the UEFA Champions League.
Lille were away at Angers, PSG were away at Stade Brestois, Monaco faced Lens and Lyon were hosts to OGC Nice.
Any chance for Les Monégasques to take the league for themselves dissipated as they could only muster a 0-0 draw against Lens. Not that a win would have helped their cause, for Lille and PSG managed to comfortably win their matches.
A 37th-minute Romain Faivre own goal and a 71st-minute strike from Kylian Mbappé gave Les Parisiens a comfortable victory over Les Pirates. Despite the defeat, Brest ended their day in jubilation as their Ligue 1 status was confirmed for another year after Nantes ended in 18th – the relegation play-off spot – after getting beaten 1-2 by Montpellier.
PSG’s victory was in vain, at the end of the day, as Lille managed to beat Angers 2-1. Goals from Jonathan David (10’) and Burak Yılmaz (penalty, 45+1’) put Les Dogues in a comfortable stead for most of the game. Angelo Fulgini did get one for Les Scoïstes in the 92nd minute, but it came too late to put any Lille player in panic mode. Lille won the match and with it, the league.
This is Lille’s fourth league title in the history of French professional topflight football; they won it last ten seasons ago. Moreover, this is only the fourth time since the beginning of last decade that a team other than PSG has won the league. Lille’s triumph is not only good news for Ligue 1 in terms of its global appeal, it is also a ringing endorsement of the club’s footballing operations, with special focus on their player sales and acquisitions which had been spearheaded by their former football director, Luis Campos, who left in December 2020, and the style of play and player development under head coach Christophe Galtier.
Elsewhere, Lyon failed to capitalise on Monaco’s draw as they slipped to a defeat in Nice. William Saliba scored Nice’s third – and the match’s final – goal in the 57th minute to secure a win for his side (All Goals – Lyon – Karl Toko Ekambi (14’ and 40’) | Nice – Kasper Dolberg (27’), Hassane Kamara (50’), William Saliba (57’)), leaving Les Gones to contend with Europa League qualification.
Joining Lyon in the Europa next season will be Olympique de Marseille, who tailed off massively after a strong start to the season to end in fifth place with 60 points. Stade Rennais earned themselves qualification for the new UEFA Europa Conference League after ending Ligue 1 in sixth place with 58 points.
At the bottom of the table, Nimes and Dijon were relegated outright, with Nantes set to play a relegation play-off in order to survive in the league.
Final League Table (Courtesy – FotMob)