Lille held their nerve to claim a narrow 2-1 away victory at Angers to finish one point ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and clinch their fourth Ligue 1 title.
Celebrations in Lille began early in the game as Jonathan David scored in the 10th minute to give his team the lead and Burak Yılmaz almost made sure of the victory just before halftime as he scored from the penalty spot.
Lille were just 1 half away now from being crowned the champions of France and Angelo Fulgini scored a late consolation goal in injury time for Angers but Lille held onto the victory and secured the Ligue 1 title on the final day of the league.
Paris Saint-Germain also did what they had to in hopes of leapfrogging Lille but it was not enough as Lille held their nerve. PSG beat Brest 2-0 but failed to lift the crown for only the second time in nine seasons.
AS Monaco drew 0-0 with Lens but secured the final UEFA Champions League spot available after Lyon lost 3-2 to Nice.
Lyon will be in next season’s UEFA Europa League while Marseille and Rennes have now qualified for the new UEFA Europa Conference League.
Despite their underdog tag, Lille have won the league title before.
In 2010/11, a squad that included Eden Hazard and Gervinho helped the northern French side lift their third Ligue 1 title and their first league crown in 57 years.
This season they have turned to 21-year-old Canadian forward David and 35-year-old Turkish striker Yilmaz.
It was David who settled early nerves, latching on to a Renato Sanchez pass and side-footing Lille into the lead in the 10th minute.
On the stroke of halftime, David was caught by goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni in the penalty area with Lille player of the season – Yilmaz – making no mistake from the penalty spot.
Lille were without captain and former Southampton defender Jose Fonte who was ruled out due to suspension, but they were barely threatened in the second half, with Fulgini’s late header the only blip in an otherwise strong performance.
PSG had lifted seven of the last eight Ligue 1 titles, but Mauricio Pochettino’s side missed out on the crown for the first time since finishing runners-up to Monaco in 2016-17.
Despite winning both the French Cup and the Trophee des Champions since the former Tottenham manager took the helm in January, eight defeats in the league – including five at home – have led to an ultimately disappointing league campaign.
Away to out-of-form Brest, the nine-time Ligue 1 winners were awarded an early penalty when Angel di Maria was brought down in the box, however, Brazil forward Neymar failed to hit the target from the spot.
They did open the scoring when a Di Maria corner deflected in off Brest midfielder Romain Faivre midway through the first period. The Argentinian was influential throughout the game as he played through Kylian Mbappe, who rounded the keeper to net his 27th goal of the season and finish as the league’s top scorer.
PSG’s victory was insignificant in the light of Lille winning though and, given the extent of the Paris club’s spending, any season that they do not win the league title – never mind their ultimate aim of the Champions League – must be viewed as a failure.