A spell of three early goals in six minutes saw Paris Saint-Germain annihilated Troyes 9-0 and clinch the Ligue 1 title with a whopping eight matches still remaining, the earliest anyone has ever clinched the league.
Edinson Cavani started things off in the 13th minute, and by the 19th minute Javier Pastore and Adrien Rabiot had added goals to send PSG to halftime already cruising. Following the break, Zlatan Ibrahimovic grabbed a hat-trick in just 10 minutes, and PSG went right on cooking to the final whistle, with Zlatan of course getting one more goal.
Before the match, with the league crown all but in his grasp, manager Laurent Blanc had harsh words for the rest of the league.
“There was a debate on whether it was pathetic or fantastic, but Paris has made its way. Many competitors have struggled to follow us,” said Blanc. “However, I repeat, in a season you can only take six points against PSG. Our opponents did not do what was needed.”
It sounds whiny, but it’s not – he’s absolutely right. The French league as a whole this season was a massive disappointment. Typical powerhouses Olympique Marseille and Saint Etienne had nightmare seasons, finishing 10th and 7th respectively. Last year’s title challengers Lyon finished fourth. Moncao has only lost four matches all season thanks to their perennially strong defensive shape, but fell well behind thanks to a complete lack of forward movement leading to a frustrating draw total of 13.
The league’s top finishers last season were sellers in the summer transfer market, shipping much of their top talent abroad. Lyon sold young striker Clinton N'Jie to Spurs after he finished the Ligue 1 season with four goals in his last six matches. Monaco cashed in on Anthony Martial, Geoffry Kondogbia, and Aymen Abdennour, while they sent young left-back Layvin Kurzawa to the French capital. Maybe the worst of all, Marseille lost Dmitri Payet to West Ham in a messy transfer that concluded in plenty of finger-pointing.
So unless the French league decides to step up its game, PSG will be no match for its competition, which can only serve to harm all involved – including Blanc and Les Parisians – so it’s no surprise he’s calling out his constituents.