Week 30 review: PSG blast their way to the title!
Paris Saint-Germain clinched a fourth-straight Ligue 1 title with a record-breaking 9-0 win in Troyes; Lyon slipped to fourth with a 2-2 draw in Rennes; and Toulouse got a surprise 4-0 win over ten-man Bordeaux.
It had been coming for some time, but Paris Saint-Germain still managed to find a remarkable way to clinch their fourth-straight Ligue 1 title: score a record-breaking 9-0 win away to the unfortunate ESTAC Troyes - with the division's top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic (27 goals) bagging his first Ligue 1 quadruple - and make sure of the crown with eight matches left to play - new record in France but also among Europe's top five leagues.
Not done yet
A fitting way to cap a remarkable campaign that as featured just the one defeat (2-1 to Lyon in Week 28) so far, but coach Laurent Blanc is aware that there is still plenty left to play for.
"My players have been very professional, right from the first league match, and this has yielded countless points and wins. And the title after 30 matches. Now we'll be able to comfortably rotate the squad and rest some players," said the former France boss, who now had four Ligue 1 titles on his coaching CV - three with PSG and one with Bordeaux. "We won't be neglecting our league duties though, we'll be taking them as seriously as possible. We'll try to make it to the finals of both domestic cups and we'll do all we can to go as far as possible in the Champions League. We'll just have to make the best of whatever tie we're handed in the draw."
Away-day jitters haunt Lyon
Meanwhile, 25 points down the table, AS Monaco failed to bolster their grip on second place as a tenacious Stade de Reims side claimed a 2-2 draw at the Stade Louis II on Friday, levelling twice to claim a point and stay out of the relegation zone - but only on head-to-head record over 18th-placed GFC Ajaccio.
The principality club haven't won in three matches, and Lyon have been waiting in the wings in recent weeks to swoop on this kind of opportunity. However, Bruno Génésio's men, while managing to take a deserved 2-0 lead against Stade Rennais thanks to Rachid Ghezzal (33') and Alexandre Lacazette (55'), slipped back to the bad habits that have plagued them on the road this season and ended up being held to a 2-2 draw after Fallou Diagne (70') and Rafaël (82', o.g.) levelled it up.
"It's very frustrating and really disappointing because I think that we deserved to win it given the match as a whole. But we couldn't manage to score the third goal to kill it off and we slipped up at the end with a set piece and a counter-attack," said Génésio. "For the moment, we need to focus on our own game, handle the upcoming match against Nantes well and see what Paris do to Monaco next week. We'll need to really start collecting points away from home."
Nice work for third
It was a blow for a Lyon side who have their hearts set on bringing Champions League football to the Parc OL next season - and would naturally prefer the direct qualification that comes with second place rather than the play-off berth that third place entails - especially as rivals OGC Nice had scored a strong 2-0 win in Montpellier the previous evening to leapfrog OL into third.
Valère Germain (62') and Alassane Pléa (76') got the goals that prevented Frédéric Hantz's side from increasing the slim three-point buffer that separates them from the drop zone, while it was Jimmy Briand (7') and Sloan Privat (24') who did the scoring as EA Guingamp claimed their first win in six outings - 2-0 over Saint-Etienne, who have now lost four matches in a winless run of six in all competitions.
Canaris on song
So congested is the table, however, that Les Verts still have a chance of claiming a European place - they are only five points shy of third with eight matches left to play - but they will have to contend with in-form Nantes, for whom Argentine striker Emiliano Sala bagged a double in the 2-0 win over Angers SCO, whose revelatory promotion season performance is starting to turn, with five defeats in a winless run of seven matches.
SM Caen continue to run hot and cold, their strong recent form giving way to a surprise 1-0 defeat away to GFC Ajaccio, for whom Khalid Boutaïb (70') got his fifth of the season. The promoted Corsican club now sit poised at the top of the drop zone in 18th, and still have a chance of survival even though they must play Nice, Saint-Etienne, PSG, Lille and Lyon - among others - before the season is out.
Olympique de Marseille coach Míchel was outraged as his team could only manage a 1-1 draw away to Lorient, Chile international Mauricio Isla (46') cancelling out Majeed Waris' opener (34').
"After Waris' goal, our performance was shameful," said the Spaniard, whose side currently sit in tenth place and who is evidently starting to think about how things will look come the end of the season. "Everyone's looking at the coach and the fact that we've had a lot of draws, but everybody's got to face up to their own responsibilities. Me too. It's time to, because there are eight matches to win and a couple of more games to try to win the Coupe de France."
Ben Yedder bludgeons Bordeaux
Toulouse sparked some hope of a chance of top-flight survival as they claimed a precious three points 4-0 at home to Garonne derby rivals Bordeaux, whose winless run of four matches now has them thinking about beating the drop rather than clinching a European finish.
LOSC Lille inched into the top half of the table (9th) with a 2-1 win away to SC Bastia, Gaël Danic's injury-time strike (90'+2) a mere consolation after Sofiane Boufal (37') and Ibrahim Amadou (59') had put Les Dogues in the driver's seat.