Sport Football PSG clinch French title despite defeat

PSG clinch French title despite defeat

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Paris Saint-Germain clinched the French league title for the second successive season on Wednesday before going down to a 2-1 home defeat against Rennes at the Parc des Princes.

Confirmation that PSG had secured the Ligue 1 championship came through just before they kicked off their match as it emerged that nearest challengers Monaco had been held to a 1-1 draw by Guingamp, and news of the result in the principality was met with jubilation by Paris fans.

The result left second-placed Monaco seven points behind PSG with only two matches of the season remaining and means that Claudio Ranieri’s side will have to settle for the runners-up spot and automatic Champions League qualification.

However, PSG captain Thiago Silva admitted that it was a rather strange way for his team to win the title.

“We did well for 10 months. The last month has not been good but I am very happy today. I hope we can continue like this next season and try to win the Champions League as well,” the Brazilian defender told Canal Plus television.

Monaco took the lead against Guingamp in the 77th minute courtesy of a strike from the in-form Dimitar Berbatov, his fifth in his last four games.

However, Fatih Atik equalised for the Bretons five minutes from the end, and PSG fans cheered as it filtered through to them that Monaco had been pegged back.

Remarkably, it was PSG’s first home league defeat in 30 matches since a nine-man Rennes side also won 2-1 at the Parc des Princes in November 2012, and the result leaves Rennes safe from the threat of relegation.

Paris have toiled in the league ever since being knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea last month, with this defeat following a loss at Lyon and a 1-1 draw at Sochaux 10 days ago.

Despite losing to Rennes, PSG have 83 points with two matches left, one fewer than the all-time best mark, set by Lyon in the 2005-06 season.

It is PSG’s fourth French title since their foundation in 1970, following previous triumphs in 1986, 1994 and last season, and is added to the League Cup they won last month by beating Lyon 2-1 in the final.