Football: Paris SG folds Ligue 1 thanks to the defeat of Monaco and now dreams of the treble

Football: Paris SG folds Ligue 1 thanks to the defeat of Monaco and now dreams of the treble

Personne ne pouvait rattraper le PSG cette saison en Ligue 1. EPA – Christophe Petit Tesson

Le match nul contre Le Havre, samedi soir, a tout juste retardé le suspense. Mathématiquement, Paris est officiellement champion de France, un exercice qu’il a survolé et qui lui ouvre l’appétit en cette fin de saison.

Paris is sacred. PSG won its 12th French championship title on Sunday thanks to the defeat of Monaco in Lyon (3-2), and can now look forward to a historic treble with the Champions League and the Coupe de France. The draw conceded against Havre at the Parc des Princes on Saturday (3-3) had delayed this new crowning but Lyon did not let the false suspense drag on for too long by relegating the Monegasques to 12 points of Parisians three days before the end of Ligue 1.

Only one defeat

The outcome was inevitable anyway. The players from the capital never trembled during an exercise that they dominated head and shoulders, unlike the previous season when they felt the breath of the Lensois down their necks. The start of the season was complicated, however, with a team that was getting used to the arrival of former FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique. PSG only took the lead in the standings on November 11 in Reims (3-0). That evening, Kylian Mbappé scored a hat-trick and Luis Enrique asked him to do more, the first episode of a tense relationship where the superstar's announcement of his departure this summer led the technician to shorten his time game.

Despite this background of sporting and financial issues, no competitor has seen the back of the Parisian TGV again, which rushed towards the title without ever backsliding. The team, with its offensive and intensive game modeled by the former Spain coach, dominated the confrontations against Lyon, Marseille, Lens and even Monaco, conceding only one defeat, against Nice at the Parc des Princes on September 15.

"Required to win"

For several months now, PSG has been around 10 points ahead of Monaco, Brest or Nice, annihilating any suspense for the identity of the championship winner. He is of course backed by a pharaonic budget, allowing him to miss bets of 90 million euros on Randal Kolo Muani and to pay the miraculous salary of Kylian Mbappé. But he was also helped by the poor performance of the other "big" of L1 Marseille and Lyon, long lost in the title race. Thus, Luis Enrique quietly declared last week that there was "no urgency" to win the title, sure of his strength – and the weaknesses of others. "It doesn't matter when we win the championship, we have deserved it for a long time, the important thing is how we win it." The coach is also well aware of his advantages: "I said from the start that we are favorites, with the best squad and the best budget, it’s even obligatory to win Ligue 1, but it’ was important to do it the right way, by playing well" .


This early title allows PSG to calmly turn towards the Coupe de France and the Champions League. Not winning the first in the final on May 25 against Lyon, which it has just defeated 4-1, would be a disillusionment for the record club (14 titles), after having failed two seasons in a row from the round of 16. Paris will be the ultra favorite.

Another pair of sleeves

The Champions League, a major objective of Qatari owner QSI upon his arrival in 2011, is a different story with heavyweights like Real Madrid and Bayern Munich still in the running. But the final is within reach with a double confrontation in the semi-final on May 1 and 7 against Borussia Dortmund, whom the Parisians beat in the pools. The prospect of playing the return match at the Parc des Princes reassures a club which is struggling to chase away the demons outside, born from the "remontada" in Barcelona on March 8, 2017. And the euphoria born from the overthrow of this same FC Barcelona in the previous round in April (3-2 defeat at the Parc des Princes, 4-1 victory at Montjuic) could give this extra of confidence necessary for final victory.

The hat-trick, Luis Enrique does not hide it, arouses "the motivation to do something that has never been done in France, mark the & rsquo;history of the club, of the city and if it can be for the country, so much the better". But, he warns, "the path is still long and winding".

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