PSG seal this season’s Ligue 1 title with a draw with Lens

Paris St-Germain confirmed a record-equalling 10th French title with four games to spare despite being held by 10-man Lens at Parc des Princes.

Lionel Messi’s stunning curled strike looked set to seal victory in style for the hosts, who required only one point to clinch the league.

But despite Kevin Danso’s dismissal for a second booking, Corentin Jean equalised for a spirited Lens late on.

It is Mauricio Pochettino’s first league triumph as a manager.

Paris St-Germain v Lens as it happened

Pochettino leads PSG to title – but will it be enough?

PSG have now won eight of the past 10 Ligue 1 titles, with this latest triumph taking them level with St-Etienne for most wins in the professional era.

They finished one point behind Ligue 1 winners Lille last season, but this term they have sealed the 2021-22 title with an emphatic 16-point advantage over closest challengers Marseille.

Though they maintained their unbeaten home record in the league, which now stands at 15 wins in 17 games, the late equaliser found a mixed reaction from the home support at full-time.

“The atmosphere is a shame,” PSG captain Marquinhos told Canal+ at full-time. “Football is our passion. We’ll try to have as much fun as possible. It’s a shame that won’t be with the supporters but we have to deal with it.”

Former Tottenham manager Pochettino, who replaced Thomas Tuchel as head coach in January 2021, won the French Cup and Trophee des Champions in his first season in charge.

And despite this inevitable league triumph the Argentine’s future in Paris remains uncertain, having been linked with Manchester United until Erik ten Hag’s appointment earlier this week.

It remains to be seen what decisions chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi will take this summer, with the elusive Champions League triumph which the club’s Qatari ownership craves once again not delivered this campaign.

Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi all had chances at close range in the first half as PSG livened up after an underwhelming start.

The hosts were booed off after a goalless first half, however, and Jonathan Clauss was denied by Keylor Navas with an increasingly confident Lens’ best chance before the break.

Lens goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca had to be alert when Mbappe was played through by a free-kick, but it was not until Danso’s sending off that PSG were able to truly assert themselves.

Even then, it required a moment of brilliance from Messi, who has endured a frustrating first season in Paris with this just his ninth goal of the campaign across all competitions.

But Pochettino’s side failed to extend their advantage and were made to pay by a Lens side chasing a European place, as Jean turned in Deiver Machado’s cross.

Paris Saint-Germain won Ligue 1 with a characteristically disappointing result on Saturday evening, but a point was all that was required to ensure that Marseille could not match their points tally with five games left to play.

The Parisians had been leading against the 10 men of Lens until the 88th minute, when an equaliser dampened the party celebrations.

After a tight first half, Lionel Messi made the difference with a rocket of a shot from 25 yards out that was simply unbeatable.

That gave PSG the lead moments after Kevin Danso had been sent off for the away team.

However, Lens still put up a fight and struck in the 88th minute as a rapid counter attack saw the ball played across to the far post where an outstretched Corentin Jean put the ball beyond Keylor Navas.

The result is Mauricio Pochettino’s first league title as a coach, adding to his Coupe de France success and Trophee des Champions with PSG .

His transfer to Paris Saint-Germain may not have gone as smoothly as he would have hoped, but Lionel Messi has added to his trophy cabinet by winning his first league title outside of Spain. PSG sealed the Ligue 1 title on Saturday night, courtesy of a Messi goal in a 1-1 draw with Lens.

They did so with four games left to play and, in doing so, gave Messi an 11th league title, 17 years after his first.

 

Messi’s success at Barcelona

At the Camp Nou, the Argentine won 10 league titles, including an impressive run of three in a row between 2008 and 2011.

His first LaLiga Santander title came in 2004/05, adding another in 2005/06 while still establishing himself in the team.

Under Pep Guardiola, he added that impressive three-in-a-row run, followed by another title under Tito Villanova in 2012/13.

His next two titles came under Luis Enrique in 2014/15 and 2015/16, and then two more with Ernesto Valverde in 2017/18 and 2018/19.

 

Beyond that, he also won seven Copa del Rey trophies, seven Supercopa de Espana titles, four Champions Leagues, three UEFA Super Cups and three FIFA Club World Cups.

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This trophy is Messi’s first at PSG and. therefore. his first away from Barcelona, won under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino.

 

In the Coupe de France, PSG were knocked out in the round of 16 by Nice, while in the Champions League Real Madrid humiliated the Parisians with a second leg comeback at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Until last summer, Messi had only ever won senior competitions with Barcelona, but has now added a Copa America title and this Ligue 1 victory.

Before that, his only medal away from Catalonia was with Argentina in the 2008 Olympic Games, technically classified as an under 23s competition by FIFA.

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