Olympique Lyonnais clinched the Ligue 1 title when they beat Lille OSC 3-0 at home in the 38th and final round of fixtures on Sunday.
Three in a row
Only a freak set of results, which required Paris Saint-Germain FC to overturn a three-point deficit as well as a goal difference swing of 14, would have prevented Lyon wrapping up the title. But Paul Le Guen's side were comfortable winners all the same as they equalled the feats of Olympique de Marseille and AS Saint-Etienne by winning a third successive title.
Luyindula seals it
Lyon striker Sidney Govou converted a pass from Péguy Luyindula five minutes before half-time to give his side the lead and midfield player Mahamadou Diarra added a 51st-minute penalty to double the advantage. Luyindula wrapped it up eleven minutes from time.
PSG were indebted to Pedro Pauleta, whose solitary 52nd-minute goal away against SC Bastia secured the capital club a place in next season's UEFA Champions League, a competition they have not graced since 2000/01. Champions League finalists Monaco finished third and will be forced to go through qualifying for next season's competition unless they defeat FC Porto in Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday.
Fourth-placed AJ Auxerre and League Cup winners FC Sochaux Montbéliard had already clinched UEFA Cup places, but failed to win today. OGC Nice held visiting Auxerre to a 1-1 draw while Sochaux, in fifth, were beaten 3-1 at sixth-placed finishers FC Nantes Atlantique, for whom Frederic Da Rocha, Gilles Yapi and Nicolas Savinaud scored the goals.
At the other end of the table, relegated Montpellier Hérault SC lost 4-0 at Stade Rennais FC, Swiss striker Alexander Frei scoring twice for the home side. They will be joined in Ligue 2 next season by EA Guingamp, beaten by 2-1 at Marseille, and Le Mans UC 72, whose 3-0 defeat of RC Lens proved in vain.
In the day's other games, Toulouse FC picked up a vital point from a goalless draw away against RC Strasbourg to ensure their safety and Bernard Diomède's hat-trick enabled AC Ajaccio to come from behind to defeat visiting FC Metz 3-1.
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