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Season review: France

Published: Monday 1 June 2015, 10.26CET
Olympique Lyonnais duo Alexandre Lacazette and Nabil Fekir were player and young player of the year in France, but it was Paris Saint-Germain, once again, who swept all before them.
Season review: France
Paris celebrate during the French Cup final victory ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Monday 1 June 2015, 10.26CET

Season review: France

Olympique Lyonnais duo Alexandre Lacazette and Nabil Fekir were player and young player of the year in France, but it was Paris Saint-Germain, once again, who swept all before them.

Champions: Paris Saint-Germain
Two-time champions at the beginning of the season, Paris endured a far tougher campaign compared to the previous two. They only took the lead for the first time with eight games to go, but once top refused to surrender that position. Olympique de Marseille – under Ligue 1 newcomer Marcelo Bielsa – were rampant before the winter break but stuttered in early 2015 before another revelation took over.

Few would have bet on Olympique Lyonnais being the ones pushing Paris all the way, with no stars and a team made up mainly of academy products, but coach Hubert Fournier managed to return the club to the UEFA Champions League, despite just missing out on the title. "Lyon proved hard to beat," said Paris coach Laurent Blanc. "We dug deep but did it." In doing so Paris joined Lyon, Marseille and AS Saint-Étienne, the clubs who had previously won three successive French titles.

Cup final: AJ Auxerre 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain
Edinson Cavani's 65th-minute goal decided the final game of the domestic calendar to secure a narrow win over the second-tier outfit Auxerre. The victory completed a domestic treble for Blanc's men, with the French League Cup also snapped up. Cavani met Gregory van der Wiel's cross just before the midway point of the second half, powering a header in off the underside of the crossbar to win it. The capital club have now won the competition nine times, one fewer than Marseille's record total of ten. "We wanted this cup and we're very proud to have done it," said Blanc.

European places*:
Paris Saint-Germain – UEFA Champions League group stage
Olympique Lyonnais – UEFA Champions League group stage
AS Monaco FC – UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
Olympique de Marseille – UEFA Europa League group stage
AS Saint-Étienne – UEFA Champions League third qualifying tround
FC Girondins de Bordeaux – UEFA Europa League third qualifying round

*subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the year: Alexandre Lacazette (Olympique Lyonnais)
The Lyon forward helped himself to 27 goals from 33 appearances in the league and denied Zlatan Ibrahimović a third successive triumph at the player of the year awards. The 23-year-old also set the record of most goals scored by a Lyon player in a single season, topping the totals of André Guy (25 goals in 1968/69) and Bernard Lacombe (24 in 1977/78).

One to watch: Nabil Fekir (Olympique Lyonnais)
The architect among Les Gones' band of youngsters who threatened big-spending Paris, Fekir, 21, earned himself the nickname of the French Messi with his dribbling skills. He also scored 13 goals and laid on nine assists in the league, mainly for Lacazette. He also won a first French cap, a boon for Les Bleus with the player also having been eligible to represent Algeria.

Top scorer: Alexandre Lacazette (Olympique Lyonnais)

Relegated: FC Metz, RC Lens, Évian Thonon Gaillard FC

Promoted: SCO Angers, Gazelec Ajaccio, ES Troyes AC

Last updated: 01/06/15 10.29CET

http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=fra/news/newsid=2252993.html#season+review+france