PSG completed its romp to another Ligue 1 championship with a dominant domestic season.

By Avi Creditor
April 21, 2019

Paris Saint-Germain is king of France again, winning a sixth Ligue 1 title in seven seasons as second-place Lille was unable to beat Toulouse, leaving Thomas Tuchel's side on a 16-point lead with five matches remaining. PSG—playing as champion—beat Monaco 3-1 thanks to Kylian Mbappe's hat trick.  

PSG's latest domestic title was never in question, even though a late-season wobble delayed the title celebrations. The club won its first 14 games of the season, scoring multiple goals in 13 of those matches and at least three goals in each of its first 10 games. The club's only losses came Feb. 3 to Lyon and then back-to-back defeats to Lille and Nantes on April 14 and 17, respectively, to delay the inevitable. The only other blemishes were a draw against Bordeaux and two against Strasbourg in an otherwise uncontested romp to the championship. PSG's goal differential is an astounding 68 goals, further exhibiting its second-to-none status in the league.

The title is PSG's eighth in its history, which brings it level with Monaco and Nantes for second-most all-time behind Marseille and Saint-Etienne's 10 apiece. It hasn't finished worse than second since 2011, with Qatar Sports Investment's ownership group pumping money into the club and luring some of the world's biggest stars in hopes of transforming it into one of Europe's elite.

Whether PSG will reach that status remains to be seen. For all of its domestic success, it has failed to break through on the Champions League stage. It has suffered three consecutive eliminations in the round of 16 after four straight quarterfinal ousters under Europe's brightest lights. Among the failures are the 2017 collapse against Barcelona, when it blew a 4-0 aggregate lead with a 6-1 second-leg defeat at Camp Nou; and this winter's debacle at home against a sorely shorthanded Manchester United, which advanced on away goals after a controversial, VAR-aided penalty allowed Marcus Rashford to score the decisive goal from the spot in the waning minutes.

Its domination in France is unquestioned, though, with a roster that, on paper, stacks up with any club in the world. An attack spearheaded by golden boot frontrunner Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Neymar is backed by a midfield featuring Angel Di Maria, Julian Draxler and Marco Verratti. Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who won his first Ligue 1 crown after so much success in Italy, split time with Alphonse Areola marshaling a defense that includes veterans Thiago Silva and Dani Alves and younger talents in Marquinhos, Thilo Kehrer and Presnel Kimpembe. The club didn't miss a beat in the league after Neymar's injury at the end of January, with the Brazilian star recently returning to training after a lengthy layoff.

The title is the first for manager Thomas Tuchel, who had previously guided Borussia Dortmund to a runner-up finish in the Bundesliga in 2015-16. He and PSG will go for the domestic double later this month when they take on Rennes in the Coupe de France final on April 27.

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