OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS 0-1 PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
1970 PSG Man Of The Match: Jeremy Menez
Thiago Motta dispossess, lays it off to Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a neat one-two, Motta gets it back, slides in Jeremy Menez in space, looks up, strokes it past Anthony Lopes and goal! That was the moment, in the 53rd minute that ended 19-years of hurt. Paris Saint-Germain are now the champions of France and sealed it at the club that has been the envy of French football for over 10 years.
Now it is our time. Les Parisiens are now the toast of Ligue 1. Not since 1994 has the club won a league title and with one swoop of Menez’s left foot he put an end to all that. With three marquee names missing in Marco Verratti, Salvatore Sirigu and Thiago Silva, the lads got the job done in an efficient manner at the Stade de Gerland. It was far from pretty, from either side but it was the result that mattered. We did not want to go another week without sealing it and thankfully this time around Carlo Ancelotti’s boys ended the anxiety.
I will not go too much into the performance, the realisation of the club FINALLY becoming league champions is the only topic on the tip of every Parisien supporter’s tongue. The scenes at the end were absolutely fantastic. Ancelotti immediately put on his “Parisiens et champions” t-shirt on and hailed the achievement of all affiliated to the club, as well as not committing on any remarks regarding his future. The players all huddled as one on the pitch along with the staff. The skipper, Thiago Silva made his way all the way down from the executive boxes to sprint on to the pitch and jump on the shoulders of Sylvain Armand and co. It was just wonderful to see that at long last, the players realised a dream for the club. They are the first Parisien team since those heady days in the nineties to seal a league title. The bromance between Mamadou Sakho and David Beckhma shows no signs of letting up as the Frenchman dragged the veteran in front of the Canal cameras as he shyly muttered the word “magnifique”. It was a humbling moment from the former England skipper who is as popular in the dressing room as any. The French contingent consisting of Clement Chantome, Kevin Gameiro, Sylvain Armand, Nicolas Douchez, Blaise Matuidi and others went back out on to the pitch to celebrate with the travelling Parisiens who witnessed history. Chantome even had a swig of beer and there was us thinking he was a quiet lad.
Anyway, these lads deserve all the praise they get because they have all played their part in putting PSG back on the map. The scenes in the city were reminiscent – although not on the same scale – as those back in 1998 when France won the FIFA World Cup. The Champs-Elysees was littered in red, white and blue as it will be today for the presentation at the Trocadero. The most iconic image of last night was that of the Eiffel Tower draped in the Parisien colours. Just beautiful.
The critics will say the club has bought the title and what not but winning championships is not easy by any means. We have had our trip ups, grumblings and fair share of bumps but at the end of the day it is PSG who have still gone on to become champions. The big challenge now is sustaining success and winning more!
1970 PSG MESSAGE:
Congratulations must be sent out to all 19 other clubs in Ligue 1 for another sterling campaign. The league has grown and grown once again. Every club, player, coach – and dare I say the referees – have been instrumental in that. Saint-Etienne winning the Coupe de la Ligue was good for football as one of France’s sleeping giants awoke and the minnows of Evian/Valenciennes have a day out at the Stade de France to look forward to later this month.
Paris Saint-Germain are the champions but Ligue 1 is a winner also! French football is on the up.
ALLEZ PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN!