Round 38 review: LOSC triumph, Mbappé claims triple crown

Publish on 24/05/2021 at 10:00 - S. WILLIS


LOSC claimed their fourth Ligue 1 Uber Eats title with victory on the final day of the season while PSG superstar Kylian Mbappé claimed a third top-scorer prize in as many years - as well as the gong for Player of the Season. Meanwhile OL missed out on the Champions League and Nantes are set for the play-offs...

With a dizzying number of outcomes still possible heading into the final round of the 2020-21 Ligue 1 Uber Eats season, LOSC held their nerve and beat Angers 2-1 - with danger men Jonathan David and Burak Yilmaz doing the damage - to keep second-placed PSG a point adrift and clinch the fourth Ligue 1 Uber Eats title in the northern club's history.

Fonte: 'It's incredible'

"It is difficult to believe that we are champions," said LOSC captain José Fonte, who led Les Dogues with poise and panache from the back. "The whole team was incredible, I'm very happy with everyone. We are champions. It's for the fans, soccer without the fans is nothing. We really want to be with them, we want to celebrate with them. It's crazy. It's incredible what we've done. Twelve months of sacrifices, of work, we have shown that we are a real team. We have to come back to Lille and do the celebration."

The title was indubitably a just reward for LOSC's impressive season (24 wins, 11 draws and just three defeats) and also for coach Christophe Galtier, whose canny management of a talented squad earned him the UNFP Trophy for Coach of the Season, while showing previous champs Paris Saint-Germain - who beat Brest 2-0 - that Ligue 1 Uber Eats is more competitive than ever.   

Pochettino: 'Put everything in context'

"Of course we are disappointed, we really believed that anything could happen in [LOSC's match in] Angers, but it didn't happen. I think we were professional and we won. But in the end, it wasn't enough to win the title," said Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino, doubtless looking forward to having a summer of transfer action and a solid pre-season in which to mould his squad, who did manage to capture the first major title of his managerial career in the form of the Coupe de France.

"I think it's important to put everything in context and to look at what happened in January. My staff and I arrived and had no time to work, but we were welcomed really well by the club and the players. We were playing every three days and we made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League, beating Bayern Munich and Barcelona. We won the Trophée des Champions and the Coupe de France, which was important for the team. But Paris Saint-Germain will always be disappointed when finishing in second."  

Al-Khelaifi: 'Mbappé will stay'

Meanwhile one of the biggest questions of the summer will be whether the club can convince Kylian Mbappé - who bagged a third-straight Ligue 1 Uber Eats top scorer title (26 goals) and a second consecutive UNFP Trophy for Player of the Season - to stay.

"I always say that Kylian is a Paris Saint-Germain player. He will stay at Paris Saint-Germain 100%," said club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi of the 22-year-old superstar whose contract expires at the end of next season. "Do not worry. Let us work. He is Parisian, he is French, he loves Paris. We don't have a problem. "

No champions League for OL

LOSC and PSG are thus bound for the UEFA Champions League group stage, and they could be joined there by Monaco who, despite drawing 0-0 with Lens, stitched up third place and the qualifying-round berth that goes with it.

The stalemate, which saw promoted Lens agonisingly miss out on a place in the Europa Conference League, was enough for the principality club because fourth-placed Lyon, a point behind them, fell to a 3-2 defeat at home to Nice in what was coach Rudi Garcia's last match in charge of Les Gones.

Garcia bows out

"I wanted to farewell the club by leaving it in the Champions League, but that's not how it played out," said the former Lens, Lille and Marseille boss, who arrived in 2019 and amassed a record of 31 wins, 14 draws and 12 defeats for a win rate of 57.9%. "We had always said that we would talk about it after the last round. I see my president on Monday, but I decided a long time ago that I would not continue."

A late 1-1 draw with Metz was enough for Jorge Sampaoli's OM to keep fifth and join Lyon in direct qualification for the UEFA Europa League group stage. Bruno Genesio's Rennes, who beat relegated Nîmes 2-0 to clinch sixth place, could also represent France in the Europa League should they make it through the play-offs.

Nantes to battle Toulouse

Meanwhile Montpellier, despite having nothing left to play for, did Nantes no favours at the Beaujoire. Gaëtan Laborde and Ligue 1 Uber Eats top assist provider (10) Andy Delort cancelled out Randal Kolo Muani's ninth of the season to secure a 2-1 win that left Les Canaris in 18th and staring down the barrel of a relegation play-off against Toulouse (third in Ligue 2 BKT).

"It wasn't our night! We have to admit it," said Nantes boss Antoine Kombouaré ahead of the play-offs on Thursday 27 May and Sunday 30 May. "There is a lot of disappointment with the result. It has been a long time since we conceded two goals... I'm not forgetting what we achieved in the last month - it was our four consecutive wins that got us to the play-off. We have to get our heads straight because we have two big games ahead of us. The playoff is a whole new challenge."

Bordeaux made sure they would survive to fight another day by beating Reims 2-1, while Chelsea Loanee Trevoh Chaloba struck to rescue Lorient a 1-1 draw against Strasbourg that saw both sides clear of danger.

And, last but not least, Dijon bid farewell to Ligue 1 Uber Eats by claiming just a fourth win over the season, 1-0 over Saint-Etienne.


>> How Lille won the title




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