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Lille claim Ligue 1 title to break PSG’s dominance

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Lille claim Ligue 1 title to break PSG's dominance

PARIS (Reuters) – Lille clinched their first Ligue 1 title since 2011 as they beat Angers 2-1 away on Sunday, becoming only the second club since 2013 to break Paris St Germain’s dominance.

A goal by Jonathan David and a Burak Yilmaz penalty put Christophe Galtier’s side on 83 points, one ahead of defending champions PSG, who had won seven of the eight previous titles and snatched a 2-0 win at Stade Brest.

“It was a long, tough day, we were under a lot of pressure and beating PSG on the last day is outstanding,” said Galtier, who could be leaving the club after four seasons in charge following a change of president during the season.

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Monaco secured third place with 78 points and a spot in the Champions League despite a 0-0 draw at RC Lens as Olympique Lyonnais slumped to a 3-2 home defeat by Nice to finish fourth on 76 and will enter the Europa League.

Olympique de Marseille drew 1-1 at Metz after the teams traded penalties deep into stoppage time as they ended up fifth on 59 points to also secure a Europa League place.

Stade Rennes, sixth on 58 thanks to a 2-0 home victory against Nimes, qualified for the Europa Conference League.

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Nantes finished 18th after a 2-1 home defeat by Montpellier and go into a playoff against Ligue 2 side Toulouse. Nimes and Dijon were already relegated.

Troyes and Clermont have been promoted to the top flight.

LITTLE SUSPENSE

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All eyes, even those of PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi through his phone, were on Lille’s game at Angers as a failure to win by the northerners would have handed the capital side another League title provided they beat Brest.

But there was little suspense as Lille were 2-0 up at halftime thanks to David’s cool finish and Yilmaz’s spot kick.

Angelo Fulgini reduced the arrears in stoppage time for Angers.

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PSG struggled against Brest and were lucky to reach the interval with a 1-0 advantage after Angel Di Maria’s curled corner kick was deflected into his own net by Romain Faivre after Neymar had missed a penalty.

Kylian Mbappe added another in the second half at the end of a sharp counter attack to finish as the season’s top Ligue 1 scorer with 27 goals.

“We lost the title. I’m only a player so it’s not up to me to say what we should do apart from focusing on the future,” said Mbappe.

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Lille’s compact and efficient style was rewarded at the end of a nail-biting season as the Turkish trio of Zeki Celik, Yusuf Yazici and Yilmaz worked wonders.

Galtier’s side, who were five points behind PSG after 10 games, took the lead at the top for good with seven matches left when Jonathan David earned them a 1-0 win at the Parc des Princes.

They gave PSG a lifeline when they drew 0-0 at St Etienne last weekend, leaving the defending champions one point behind them.

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But the consistency of Lille, who were never outside the top three after matchday five, eventually bore fruit.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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Football

Manager hints at date for Kylian Mbappe to complete Real Madrid transfer

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Manager hints at date for Kylian Mbappe to complete Real Madrid transfer

Carlo Ancelotti seems to have hinted at a move for Paris Saint-Germain ace Kylian Mbappe.

The Frenchman’s deal at PSG is coming to an end, and he will be one of a slew of rising free agents available next summer.

Kylian Mbappe is expected to have a lengthy list of suitors if he does not sign a new contract at the Parc des Princes, but it’s possible that Madrid is already assured in getting this trade done.

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Ancelotti wanted to focus on his team’s goals for this season when asked about ambitions to sign Mbappe.

He did, however, specify a possible move date for Mbappe to the Bernabeu.

“I don’t know. We think we will continue to fight for titles,” he told reporters, as quoted by Goal.

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“It’s an interesting moment because we’re back in La Liga, we have the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. It’s an important moment.

“[Moving for Mbappe is] the last thing to do, which I think is what will happen on June 30.”

After a rough few years, signing Mbappe on a free transfer may be a game-changer for Real.

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Real Madrid are no longer the powerhouse they were few years back, when Zinedine Zidane led them to three consecutive Champions League finals, with Ronaldo still at the side and at his prime.

However, if they can sign Mbappe, it will be a significant show of purpose, especially given how poorly their main rivals, Barcelona, are failing right now.

Los Blancos are famed for bringing in Galacticos, and Mbappe is destined to become one of the top stars in international football.

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Confirmed: PSG agree to a record deal to sign Achraf Hakimi

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Football news - Paris Saint-Germain to beat Chelsea to Achraf Hakimi transfer after agreeing record deal - report

Inter full-back Achraf Hakimi has signed a record deal with Paris Saint-Germain.

Mauricio Pochettino and PSG were interested in signing the defender, who only joined Inter last summer.

In his debut season with Inter, Hakimi won the League Title, impressing throughout the season, scoring seven goals and providing eight assists.

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Chelsea were also interested in Hakimi and made their own proposal, according to reports. PSG, on the other hand, increased their offer and are now on the verge of signing Hakimi ahead of the Blues.

According to ESPN, PSG has agreed to make Hakimi the most expensive full-back in history, paying around £60 million for the brilliant defender.

Hakimi accepted a personal terms with PSG a month ago and is expected to join Pochettino in Ligue 1.

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The 22-year-old will sign a five-year contract and is likely to debut right away under Pochettino.

Hakimi will be officially introduced as a PSG player next week. His Morocco’s international career has taken him all over the world, with spells at Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid.

PSG is on the lookout for new players after losing the Ligue 1 title to Lille and falling short of their long-term goal of winning the Champions League.

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Hakimi will be the club’s third major summer signing, after Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Antonio Conte resigned as Inter’s manager in May after being enraged by the club’s plan to offload up to £70 million worth of its best players.

Inter have only made one acquisition this summer, the free transfer of midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, after appointing Simone Inzaghi as Conte’s replacement.

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European roundup: AC Milan knock Juve out of top four, Man City made to wait for title

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AC Milan knock Juve out of top four

AC Milan won 3-0 against Juventus to push them out of the Serie A top four on Sunday in Turin.

Milan are looking forward to feature in the Champions League for the first time since 2014.

After Franck Kessie missed a penalty, Brahim Diaz put Milan ahead just before the break, with Anton RebicF and Fikayo Tomori adding two more goals in the second half.

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Milan has moved up to third position, level on 72 points with second-placed Atalanta, with Napoli in fourth spot and the final Champions League berth two points behind.

With three games remaining, including next weekend’s match against newly crowned champions Inter Milan, Juventus are now fifth, one point behind the top four.

“We had a great game, a victory over a direct rival at this moment in the championship is very important,” said AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli.

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“We still have to fight. But I have a very young team. That is maturing as this evening proved.”

Ligue 1

In Ligue 1, Neymar scored the day after extending his deal, but Paris Saint-Germain were kept to a 1-1 draw at Rennes on Sunday, putting Lille one step closer to a phenomenal league title victory.

PSG led at half break thanks to Neymar’s controversial penalty conversion, but Serhou Guirassy equalized in the second half.

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PSG is still three points behind Ligue 1 leaders Lille, who will be crowned champions for the first time since 2011 if they manage to get four points in their final two games.

The French giants have won the league title seven times in the last eight years, but they have been inconsistent this season, and the decision to replace manager Thomas Tuchel with Mauricio Pochettino during the winter break seems to have had little effect.

“We will keep believing until the end, we won’t lose faith, but at PSG we need to do much better,” captain Marquinhos told broadcaster Canal Plus.

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“Lille are a really good side and are winning every match. We have two games left and we need to believe, focus on ourselves and perform better.”

Premier League

In the Premier League, Manchester United prolonged Manchester City’s wait for the Premier League title by at least two days after coming back from a goal down to defeat Aston Villa 3-1 on Sunday.

West Bromwich Albion’s hopes of escaping relegation were dashed when they lost 3-1 at Arsenal, while West Ham United’s chances of finishing in the top four were shattered when they lost 1-0 at home to Everton.

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