Paris Saint-Germain are no longer champions of France after Lille completed their stunning march to Ligue 1 glory on Sunday.
PSG headed into the final matchday with some hope remaining and upheld their end of the bargain, sweeping aside struggling Brest 2-0 – Kylian Mbappe on target after Neymar missed a penalty.
But Lille and their talisman Burak Yilmaz saw off Angers 2-1 to prevail by a point.
Considering the meagre victory margin, it is hard not to conclude that PSG’s fate was sealed by a dreadful record against Lille, Monaco and Lyon, their fellow top-four incumbents this season.
In a mini-league made up of all the games played between those clubs, PSG came bottom in 2020-21 due to a mere four points from six matches.
Here, we take a closer look at how the Parisians let their domestic dominance slip.
4 – Lille have won their fourth Ligue 1 title in their history after 1946, 1954 and 2011. Lille are the third team to win at least two Ligue 1 titles in the 21st century after Lyon and Paris (7 each). Champions. pic.twitter.com/DJo2gv59Nk
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) May 23, 2021
Monaco 3-2 PSG (November 20)
PSG looked set for a routine win as Kylian Mbappe tore through to open the scoring against his former club before making it 2-0 from the penalty spot.
But Kevin Volland poached a brace and Cesc Fabregas, whose introduction at the interval proved key, converted a penalty six minutes from time. Abdou Diallo was sent off for bringing down the former Arsenal man.
It was the first time PSG had lost a Ligue 1 game after leading by at least two goals since going down 4-2 to Bastia in January 2015.
PSG 0-1 Lyon (December 13)
The defending champions had seen Lille replace them at the top of the standings before kick-off and were unable to respond in a lacklustre performance when they only managed one shot on target.
As such, Tino Kadewere’s 35th-minute finish after PSG carelessly gave away possession was enough for Lille to leave the capital with three points.
Lille 0-0 PSG (December 20)
Pressure was mounting on Thomas Tuchel after that defeat and PSG were similarly listless at Lille a week later.
Again, their all-star attack only hit the target once as Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan bolstered his eventual collection of 21 top-flight clean sheets – the best in Europe’s big five leagues this season.
PSG got back on track with a 4-0 win over Strasbourg but, on Christmas Eve, Tuchel was sacked.
PSG 0-2 Monaco (February 21)
PSG were starting to look like a team reborn under Mauricio Pochettino heading into their return fixture with Monaco fixture having thrashed Barcelona 4-1 in the Champions League.
They were brought back down to earth by Niko Kovac’s Monaco, as Sofiane Diop headed them into an early lead and Guillermo Maripan slotted home in the 51st minute.
Once more, PSG were shot-shy on the big occasion and Monaco became the first team to complete the Ligue 1 double over them since Nancy in 2011-12.
Lyon 2-4 PSG (March 21)
Following another home slip-up against Nantes, PSG belatedly started to show their teeth domestically, dispatching Lille 3-0 in the Coupe de France.
On the back of that triumph, they travelled to Lyon and were in rampant form. Mbappe gave PSG a 15th-minute lead and Danilo Pereira slammed home when the hosts failed to clear a corner.
Angel Di Maria’s wicked free-kick delivery from the right went straight in shortly after half-time before Mbappe charged on to Marco Verratti’s long ball and become the youngest player to reach 100 Ligue 1 goals. Islam Slimani and Maxwell Cornet restored a touch for pride for Lyon.
PSG 0-1 Lille (April 3)
A week on from that victory, PSG erred decisively as Lille claimed their first win at Parc des Princes since 1996.
Jonathan David’s deflected 20th-minute effort from Jonathan Ikone’s cutback was enough to be decisive on the day and in the final reckoning, considering Les Dogues ended up as champions by such a fine margin.
Neymar was sent off after a late clash with Tiago Djalo as the match and, ultimately, the title slipped away from Paris.
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