Montpellier players kept
their cool to clinch a maiden Ligue 1 title with a 2-1 win at AJ
Auxerre although the match descended into chaos as police were
called in after local fans pelted the pitch with flares,
tomatoes and toilet paper to interrupt the game three times on
Nigeria's John Utaka scored the two goals after relegated
Auxerre had opened the scoring through Olivier Kapo.
Montpellier finished the season on 82 points, leading
second-placed Paris Saint-Germain, who won 2-1 at Lorient, by three
Eden Hazard scored three in his farewell game as
third-placed Lille, who will be in the Champions League play-offs
next season, beat Nancy 4-1.
Olympique Lyon, who had nothing to gain or lose, finished
fourth with a 4-3 defeat by visitors Nice.
Girondins Bordeaux, fifth, secured a Europa League spot with
a 3-2 victory at Saint-Etienne.
Dijon and Caen were relegated to Ligue 2 with AJ Auxerre.
"It's incredible, I can hardly find the words," Montpellier
goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren told Canal + as fans descended on to
the pitch to celebrate the title.
"Our only goal was to stay in the top flight and in the end
we are champions. I'm going to enjoy it because it will probably
be the only time it happens to me."
The joyous celebrations at the end were in stark contrast to
the crowd trouble that repeatedly marred the second half of the
Emotions spilled over when Auxerre fans threw tennis balls,
toilet paper and tomatoes onto the pitch to cause the first two
Referee Said Ennjimi delayed the start of the second half by
five minutes and then ushered the players back inside the tunnel
after suspending the game again just five minutes after the
However, riot police were called in when the match was
halted for the third time in the 70th minute after raging
Auxerre supporters threw flares onto the pitch.
With the jeering, whistling and booing fans showing no signs
of calming down, the police moved in to evacuate sections of the
stands, allowing Montpellier to complete their title charge
without any further stoppages.
Montpellier, in only their third top-flight season after a
five-year spell in Ligue 2, had climbed up the Ligue 1 ladder
thanks to their free-flowing, inspired football and made sure
they were rewarded for their hard work and belief on Sunday.
At the Abbe Deschamps stadium, a Montpellier fan's banner
read "historical season". It was meant to be one.
The players did not let their fans down even though they
fell behind when Kapo beat Mapou Yanga Mbiwa to head home from a
Roy Contout corner as Auxerre took the lead after 20 minutes.
The visitors hit back 12 minutes later when Utaka latched on
to a Souleymane Camara cross from the right to make it 1-1.
Montpellier showed their composure amid the chaotic scenes
erupting around them as Utaka doubled the tally in the 76th
minute with a low shot from just inside the box, triggering wild
but peaceful celebrations in their corner.
It ended PSG's hopes of winning their first title since 1994
after the Qatar-backed side spent over 80 million euros on transfers last summer.
"We have to congratulate Montpellier. We did a good job
tonight, we just lacked a little something," said PSG coach
Carlo Ancelotti, who took over from Antoine Kombouare last
December when the club was leading the table.
"We need to have faith in the future."
PSG were 1-0 down after 28 minutes when some sloppy
defending by Zoumana Camara allowed the unmarked Kevin
Monnet-Paquet to head home from a Lucas Mareque cross.
That game was also interrupted shortly afterwards for five
minutes after PSG fans threw flares on to the pitch.
The visitors levelled on 61 minutes thanks to a close-range
goal from Javier Pastore.
Thiago Motta made it 2-1 for PSG when he headed home from a
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