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Soccer

PSG clinch first Ligue 1 title since 1994

Photo: Robert Pratta/Reuters

David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrate PSG's first league title in 19 seasons.

PARIS (AP) -- Paris-Saint German clinched its first French league title since 1994 on Sunday after Jeremy Menez scored in the second half in a 1-0 win at Lyon.

PSG had long been on course for the title but failed to close it out in recent weeks. However, Menez's goal in the 53rd minute secured the trophy with two rounds remaining. The big-spending French club moved seven points ahead of Marseille, which is now guaranteed second spot after third-place Lyon's defeat.

The final whistle sparked scenes of jubilation at the Stade de Gerland and in Paris, where hundreds of fans began gathering on the Champs-Elysees.

Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has now won league titles in four different countries with five clubs. The French title is his eighth league championship - and he also won two titles with Juventus that were later revoked because of the 2006 match-fixing scandal.

Former England captain David Beckham has also won titles in four different countries and has 10 league winners' medals following his success with Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

PSG has spent approximately 250 million Euros ($329 million) during the past two years on players.

PSG could have taken an early lead but Lyon defender Mouhamadou Dabo did well to clear Ibrahimovic's volley off the line.

Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes also performed crucial saves to deny Menez.

At the other end, PSG goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez kept out efforts from Bafetimbi Gomis and Yassine Benzia.

The deadlock was broken when Thiago Motta stole the ball off Maxime Gonalons and passed to Ibrahimovic. The Sweden striker threaded it back for the Brazilian to set up Menez, who drilled it into the bottom right corner.

Menez had good chances to double his tally but was twice denied by Lopes.

Earlier, Nice lost 4-0 at relegation-threatened Evian as a stunning goal from Saber Khelifa helped dent the visitors' chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Saint-Etienne's hopes of joining Europe's elite next season also diminished as it lost 3-1 at Lorient.

Evian moved two points clear of the relegation zone with the victory, which was marked by Khelifa's spectacular second goal - a lob from more than 50 meters. Khelifa had all but sealed the match with his first in the 56th minute, following goals from Kevin Berigaud and Mohammed Rabiu.

Nice remained fifth in the standings, three points behind Lyon. It is also in danger of missing out on the Europa League although it is level on points with Lille.

Saint-Etienne is four points behind Lyon, but has already qualified for the Europa League after winning the League Cup.

Lorient took the lead five minutes after halftime when Lamine Gassama raced down the right flank before crossing to the far post for Kevin Monnet-Paquet to head in. Fabien Robert doubled Lorient's advantage in the 68th minute when he headed in an accurate ball from Benjamin Corgnet.

Kurt Zouma reduced the deficit 10 minutes from time when he headed in Romain Hamouma's corner. Saint-Etienne thought it had leveled shortly afterwards but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's effort was flagged offside.

Yann Jouffre then sealed the result in stoppage time.

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