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Montpellier 1 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Parisians claim third straight Ligue 1 title

Paris Saint-Germain are Ligue 1 champions for a third consecutive season after Saturday’s 2-1 win at Montpellier.

Needing only a point to retain the title, PSG – missing the suspended Thiago Motta and Marco Verratti as well as top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to injury – made no mistake with a professional performance at the Stade de la Mosson.

Blaise Matuidi put PSG ahead with his fifth goal of the season in all competitions.

Ezequiel Lavezzi then made it 2-0 after 25 minutes by powering into the bottom-right corner and leave PSG on the brink, with second-placed Lyon struggling at home to Bordeaux.

A howler from Salvatore Sirigu helped Anthony Mounier pull a goal back shortly before half-time, fraying the nerves somewhat for Laurent Blanc’s men.

However, a Montpellier fightback never materialised as the capital club sealed the second trophy of a potential domestic treble at the home of the last side to hold the title before PSG’s recent dominance.

Blanc’s side appeared determined to be crowned champions in style and a bright start saw Lavezzi head wide before Edinson Cavani was also off-target, having latched onto Hilton’s ill-advised backpass.

But PSG finally opened the scoring in the 17th minute as Matuidi collected a superb pass from Adrien Rabiot and slotted into the bottom-right corner.

Eight minutes later, Lavezzi swept Serge Aurier’s right-wing delivery in at the near post to double the visitors’ advantage and put the champagne on ice.

Cavani would have made it three 31 minutes in if not for the reflexes of Jonathan Ligali, who dived low to his left to tip the former Napoli man’s close-range effort behind.

And the celebratory mood was tempered somewhat as Montpellier were handed a lifeline after 40 minutes when Sirigu allowed Mounier’s in-swinging cross to loop over his head.

Montpellier maintained the momentum from that goal and had the better of the second half but struggled to create clear-cut chances when in the ascendancy.

Indeed, PSG’s defence was rarely tested in the second 45 minutes, and Ligali came to Montpellier’s aid again late on with a fine double save.

The keeper first denied Aurier at the near-post and was alert to the danger to keep out Rabiot’s follow-up.

Pastore rattled the crossbar in injury time before the party mood was soured somewhat as the joyous visiting fans launched flares onto the pitch at the end of an encounter that caps another fine season of league dominance for PSG.

Sat 16 May, 2015
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