LOSC Lille Métropole
PSG 2-2 Lille: LOSC clinch Ligue 1 title despite failing to beat 10-man PSG in fiery encounter
Lille clinched their first Ligue 1 title in 57 years, despite failing to beat 10-man PSG who had Guillaume Hoarau sent off in a tempestous match.
By Mohammed Ali
Lille failed to beat the 10-man of Paris Saint-Germain, but the solitary point was still enough for them to clinch their first Ligue 1 title in 57 years after a fiery 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes.
It looked to be a procession to the title when the visitors' opened the scoring within five minutes through Ludovic Obraniak. After much attacking endeavour, the hosts' equalised in controversial circumstance at the end of the first half with Guillaume Hoarau netting.
A match filled with temper boiled over a minute into the second period with Hoarau questionably sent off and PSG coach Antoine Koumbouare sent to the stands soon after. The Dogues quickly restored their lead through Moussa Sow, but Les Parisiens' fine resilience saw them equalise midway through the second half through Mathieu Bodmer in a lively encounter.
In an exciting opening, both sides carved out early attacking opportunities to set the tone with the home side in particular hitting the ground firmly after a disappointing midweek defeat. Despite that, Lille seized the initiative and broke the deadlock in the fifth minute.
Obraniak, who broke PSG hearts with an 89th minute winner in the two sides' meeting in last week's Coupe de France final, was to be the enemy in the capital again. The Polish midfielder latched on to a pass from leading scorer Sow after a counter attack, and fired the ball past a wrong-footed Gregory Coupet.
PSG, who along with LOSC are Ligue 1's best entertainers this season, immediately issued a response with numerous endeavours into the opposite half. Hoarau flashed a header at Landreau before the French international's audacious overhead kick surprisingly flew tantalisingly wide of Landreau's left post.
The home side were unrelenting in their onslaught on the Lille goal, yet they somehow couldn't find the equaliser to whet the appetite of a ferocious and expectant home crowd. Ludovic Giuly smashed in a shot which deflected off Aurelien Chedjou and onto the crossbar after good work by Mathieu Bodmer with Les Parisien's frustration growing after a period of domination.
Rudi Garcia's side were on the ropes as they were increasingly pushed back to defend their slender lead. Mevlut Erding spurned another gilt-edged chance by failing to connect with an in-swinging cross from Nene.
The high attacking tempo deployed left Antoine Koumbouare's men vulnerable in the middle, to which Yohan Cabaye took advantage of with a series of fine tackles and defence-opening passes. However, the front three, who have never netted against PSG failed to break their duck as an efficient rearguard held out.
An equaliser did arrive in controversial yet deserving circumstances. A quick free kick from Nene caught out a static defence, and Hoarau, unmarked powered in the equaliser in the third minute of injury time, despite only two signalled. Chaos ensued on the touchline as a furious Rudi Garcia voiced his anger to the fourth official, with various Lille players vocal towards referee Lionel Jaffredo as the half-time whistle eventually went in the fifth minute of added time after a lively first period.
A tempestous end to the first half boiled over immediately into the second with another questionable refereeing decision. Hoarau, on a yellow, was adjudged to have simulated his fall and was duly shown a second yellow card upon uproar from the Parc des Princes crowd, with the scorer leaving the field in tears.
Antoine Koumbouare was then subsequently expelled to the stands by Jaffredo after an outburst at his opposite number Garcia on the touchline with the match turning sour by this point. Unaffected by the heated exchanges, Les Dogues took the lead soon after in the 59th minute.
A flowing move, briefly interrupted by Sylvain Armand's lunge on Eden Hazard fell to Mathieu Debuchy, as the defender's shot was easily converted in by Moussa Sow to give his side the lead and return the striker to the top of the Ligue 1 charts with 22 goals in a stellar campaign.
The numerical disadvantage failed to throw off the 10 men hosts, and with their hopes of Champions League qualification increasingly slipping away after hitting the woodwork twice through Giuly's clever pullback, they found themselves on level terms in spectacular fashion. A cross was poorly headed away, with Bodmer collecting the ball and turning Adil Rami and Debuchy and firing a shot in off the crossbar to restore parity.
The match fizzled out after the final period was littered with fouls, as both sides became content at sharing the spoils with substitute Tulio de Melo wasting a decent opportunity by heading over the bar.
Lille's crowning moment arrived at the full time whistle as the emotion from the visiting players became visible. The point sees Rudi Garcia's side secure a memorable league and cup double for the first time since 1946. For PSG, Champions League football is still alive despite looking unlikely to qualify at one stage as they sit just two points behind Lyon with just one more round to go.
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