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Reigning Ligue 1 champions, Paris Saint Germain locked horns with relegation-threatened Brest on Sunday in the season finale. Mauricio Pochettino’s squad needed a win and a few favours from Angers if they wanted to retain their title. Brest would have been out of the relegation battle if they would have just avoided a heavy defeat which they managed to.

It all boiled down to the final day in France as Lille and PSG were both fighting to get their hands on the Ligue 1 title. France had rarely witnessed such a tight title race in ages, with PSG always being the dominant squad in the country. A team full of galacticos PSG has been an outfit to beat while playing domestic tournaments.



Mauricio Pochettino introduced his best squad to play their rivals for the final matchday, Brest. Right off the bat, the star-studded Parisians looked like the team who would break the shackles. And they were presented with a golden opportunity in the 13th minute of the game where PSG was awarded a penalty.

But the away fans’ uproar was cut short very soon. Their Brazilian striker, Neymar missed the spot-kick as he turned his back away from goal in despair. Brest survived once again, as the ex-champions looked for another window to get their goal.

PSG has always boasted of a world-class roster. But unfortunately, Pochettino’s squad couldn’t find their way into the Brest goal for most parts of the half. But as the clock struck 37 minutes, PSG found a way to spoil Brest’s hopes of avoiding relegation. An own-goal owing to an inch-perfect corner by Di Maria left as Olivier Dall’Oglio’s troops couldn’t believe their eyes.

As the second half began, PSG came in all guns blazing as if they seemed like they were hungry for more goals. They were well aware of Lille’s scoreline and knew the game at Stade Jean-Bouin could be turned on its head at any point in time. And Pochettino was surely not comfortable with a one-goal advantage as the heroic squad began their hunt.



Les Rouge et Bleu were creating attacks after attacks but a second goal eluded them. But Kylian Mbappe, a household name in France, decided to take matters into his own hands. With the speed of a bullet, he left the defender trailing, and within a split second, the Brest keeper was picking the ball out of his net. PSG was now matching table-toppers in terms of goals scored but a point still separated the two.

And as the curtains were about to be drawn a piece of news came from the other side of the pond. Underdogs Lille had finally dethroned the reigning champions and France had a new champion. The Kings were outshined by the Prince. Though PSG won the game with a margin of two goals it wasn’t enough as Lille lifted their 4th Ligue 1 trophy.



Though PSG was outshining their opposition at Stade Francis-Le Blé, table-toppers Lille was travelling to Angers. And not to one’s surprise, Lille opened the scoring in their final match just after 10 minutes and the pressure on Pochettino’s squad just started to rise. And they were given the perfect gift by Brest.

Angel Di Maria guided past 2 defenders before being fouled on the edge of the box. And the Paris fans at home erupted like a volcano as they had the perfect opportunity to lead the game. And Neymar stepped up to take the decisive kick. The 29-year-old kissed the football, placed it on the spot and the sparkle was visible in his eyes.



The Brest goalkeeper, Gautier Larsonneur decided to play mind games with the PSG striker. The French shot-stopper stood on the right side of the goal leaving a hell of a lot of space for Neymar to put the ball in. Both the players looked into each other’s eyes before Neymar unleashed his shot.

The ball went rolling on the left side of the rooted-keeper but instead of finding the back of the net, it went away from goal. Neymar couldn’t believe his eyes and was completely disappointed as Larsonneur jumped ecstatically. A perfect opportunity came knocking on PSG’s door but maybe they were too busy to hear the doorbell.



Angel Di Maria was having a match to remember. Running riot on the right-wing against Brest, it was very difficult for the home team to contain the Argentine. The ex-Madrid player had tried his luck in all the big leagues of Europe. A revelation in Madrid turned out to be a failure in Manchester. But his career’s reboot started when he arrived in Parc des Princes.

Playing as a secondary to the likes of Mbappe and Neymar he’s been brilliant for the Parisians. And once again Mauricio Pochettino looked at him for inspiration in a must-win game. The pivotal force behind the first penalty was once again crucial for PSG’s title hopes. The away team was awarded a corner in the 37th minute of the match and the disheartened squad was looking for goals from somewhere. Though the deadlock was broken it was all because of a masterpiece by Di Maria.



A curling corner that came inside the penalty box was deflected by Brest midfielder Romain Faivre. The back-peddling keeper witnessed the ball soaring above his head as he couldn’t prevent it from going inside the net.

Finally, PSG led the game because of the great precision and determination shown by a left-footed Argentine. Soon the referee blew for half-time as both the squads went to their dressing rooms with mixed emotions.

Di Maria once again proved his importance for the French team. He found Frenchman Kylian Mbappe in some space and served the perfect ball for his talismanic striker. The Ligue-1 top scorer glided past the keeper and found an open net in front of him. And with the blink of an eye, Mbappe gave PSG a two-goal cushion.



It was the last time the Argentine touched the ball this season as he was substituted after a mouth-watering performance. Another Argentine, Mauro Icardi took his spot as Pochettino wanted to increase the advantage.



Anyone who would not put their money on Paris to win the Ligue 1 would surely be laughed at. But ironically this season, PSG has defied all odds by finishing second in their domestic competition. 8 losses and 3 draws this campaign has come to bite the Parisians in the back as they failed to retain their Champions crown. Lille has been crowned champions of France after their 2-0 win against a dispirited Angers.



Both the teams came into the game requiring a win if they wanted to get their hands on silverware. PSG though was looking for more than a win, they hoped that Angers would spring a surprise in Round 38.

But unfortunately, a team full of galacticos could only take home a Coupe De France medal this season. A runners-up medal in Ligue 1 and a semi-final Champions League exit are the two other things under Pochettino’s new CV.




The star-studded squad ended up winning their game but their fate was not in their hands. A late goal by Angers must have raised a few heartbeats in Lille but unfortunately, a comeback wasn’t happening.

And as the final whistle blew in Angers, PSG knew that they had been dethroned as Kings of France. And when the Parisians have a look back at their season they’ll regret the draws and losses they faced throughout the season. Maybe the ego of galacticos couldn’t match the determination of the Lille youngsters.

And as PSG won’t be able to lift their favourite trophy after years, a question on Mbappe’s future will surely be tomorrow’s headline along with Lille’s fairytale story.

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