Lille grabs last Champions League spot
May. 17, 2014
PARIS (AP) — Titleholder Paris Saint-Germain broke the record for most victories in a French league season with a 4-0 win over Montpellier while Lille secured the last Champions League berth by finishing third on Saturday.
Lyon edged Nice 1-0 to grab the last Europa League spot.
In a match between the only teams still under the threat of relegation, Evian secured safety by defeating Sochaux 3-0.
Sochaux, Valenciennes and Ajaccio were relegated while Metz, Lens and Caen gained promotion.
Ezequiel Lavezzi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lucas Moura and Adrien Rabiot scored in PSG's 27th league win. Ibrahimovic notched his 26th league goal to finish as the top scorer for the second straight season.
"We had a great season," PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said. "That was not easy after Carlo Ancelotti's departure. But this has been the best of our last three seasons."
PSG coach Laurent Blanc rested some of the players called up for the World Cup: Salvatore Sirigu, Maxwell, Thiago Silva, Marco Verratti, Yohan Cabaye, Edinson Cavani.
Lille came from a goal down at Lorient to win 4-1, with Salomon Kalou scoring twice. Lille will enter the preliminary rounds of the Champions League.
"We had no doubt despite pressure from Saint-Etienne, which made up ground and wanted that third place," Lille captain Rio Mavuba said.
Saint-Etienne beat Ajaccio 3-1 to finish fourth and qualify for the Europa League playoffs.
Sochaux needed a victory to stay in the top flight but Evian dashed its hopes in the first half with a bicycle kick goal from Denmark midfielder Daniel Wass in the ninth minute and a volley from defender Aldo Angoula in the 42nd. Wass finished off a counterattack in the 72nd to seal the win.
"The problem is that we gave a lot of hope to an entire region and unfortunately we failed in the last game," Sochaux coach Herve Renard said.
Lyon center back Bakary Kone headed home a free kick from Clement Grenier in the sixth to help his club earn a European spot for the 18th straight season. Lyon finished fifth and will enter the preliminary round of the Europa League.
Marseille missed out on a European spot despite edging Guingamp 1-0.
"It was a very rough season. We were too inconsistent in our performances," Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena said. "We wanted to get a European spot at least, even though the goal at the start of the season was a top-three finish. Our season has been a bit of a failure."
Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda lost consciousness after his head collided with the knee of Guingamp striker Mustapha Yatabare in the 19th. He was taken off on a stretcher.
French runner-up Monaco drew 1-1 with Bordeaux, Toulouse forward Wissam Ben Yedder scored a hat trick in a 3-1 win over Valenciennes, Rennes beat mid-table Reims 3-1, and Bastia and Nantes split the points in a goalless draw.
Bastia goalkeeper Mickael Landreau, who holds the record for most French league appearances (618), played his last game in the league as he will retire this summer. He's part of France's World Cup squad.