Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) was crowned as Champions of France on Wednesday afternoon despite losing at home for round 36 to Rennes 2-1. The title is the second straight for PSG in the French soccer league, Ligue 1. The title was also achieved thanks to the help of French Cup holders Guingamp who tied second-placed Monaco with a 1-1 draw.
It was only six years ago that PSG was almost relegated to Ligue 2 in France when the team saved itself in the last game of the season. Paris Saint-Germain traveled to Sochaux for the final round of the 2007-2008 and won the game 2-1. Ever since, the team has been on the rise, and, the last two seasons, Paris won titles consecutively.
The 2013-2014 season was expected to be the first real trouble PSG would have in a repeat attempt. Monaco spent big money on players during the summer of 2013, become the major threat for PSG’s repeat chances. In addition, Paris had lost their head coach, Carlo Ancelotti, to Real Madrid. Both these factors were expected to make it difficult for Paris to repeat the French title.
Coach Laurent Blanc had a slow start with PSG at the beginning of the season, but his attacking mode slowly started brewing for Paris. Blanc implemented to the old attacking formation of 4-3-3 which proved to be successful. Paris also bought Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani from Italian team SSC Napoli for this season. Cavani was a nice piece to join forces with Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Argentine striker Ezequiel Lavezzi.
During Wednesday’s match against Stade Rennes, PSG scored early in the game. In the third minute, Lavezzi got a goal, and it looked like Paris was on its way to a victory in front of their fans at the Parc de Princes Stadium. Rennes came back and scored two goals in four minutes. The first was scored in the 23rd by midfielder Foued Kadir, and the second was scored in the 27th minute by midfielder Paul-Georges Ntep de Madiba. The two goals, although scored in the first half of the match, proved enough to beat PSG.
The downside of this game is that Paris controlled the game by a huge margin. Paris had 25 shots on goal compared to six shots by Rennes. Also, Paris Saint-Germain controlled the ball by 73 percent. That means that Rennes only had the ball for 27 percent of the time and still managed to score two goals.
Despite the loss, PSG was crowned Champions of France, thanks to a tie in the Monaco game. This title will be the teams fourth title in the French league, winning previously in 1986, 1994, and 2013. Paris ranks in No. 8 in the race of French league titles, tied with club team Nice.
PSG will be closing the season as Champions with two games remaining to the French league this season. The two games will be against Lille on May 10, and the last meeting against Montpellier on May 17. The last match will be a home game, so Paris Saint-Germain will have a chance to celebrate with a victory in front of their fans.
Commentary by Jose Herrera