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Thursday, June 30, 2022

European roundup: PSG seal Ligue 1 title with draw but many fans leave early | European club football

Paris Saint-Germain secured a record-equalling 10th Ligue 1 title after stuttering to a 1-1 draw against 10-man RC Lens but the celebrations were rather muted as frustrated fans headed for the Parc des Princes exit immediately after Saturday’s final whistle.

Lionel Messi gave PSG the lead midway through the second half before Corentin Jean scored a late equaliser for the visitors, who saw Kevin Danso sent off early in the second half.

PSG have 78 points with four games left and lead second-placed Marseille, who play their game in hand at Reims on Sunday, by 16 points. PSG equalled the record set by Saint-Étienne, who won 10 top-flight titles between 1957 and 1981.

Sealing the Ligue 1 title, however, was not a cause for celebration for some ultra fans who left the Parc des Princes 15 minutes before the final whistle as they were still frustrated by the team’s early exit from the Champions League. PSG were knocked out in the last 16 after squandering a 2-0 aggregate lead in 15 minutes against Real Madrid.

The stadium was empty 10 minutes after the game ended and the players skipped the traditional lap of honour. Fans from the Boulogne and Auteuil stands did not show their support once again despite the team having won their previous four games, scoring 16 goals during that run.

PSG were under pressure early on but came to life after 20 minutes when an exchange between Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar almost bore fruit as the Brazilian’s low shot from inside the box went just wide.

Achraf Hakimi was denied by Jean-Louis Leca and Mbappé missed two clear chances as the hosts upped the pace, but Lens also threatened through Seko Fofana and Jonathan Clauss. PSG were booed by the crowd at halftime.

Danso picked up a second yellow card for a rough tackle on Neymar in the 57th minute. From the resulting free-kick, Leca had to fully stretch to parry away Messi’s attempt.

The Argentina forward curled a perfect 25-metre shot into the top corner in the 68th minute after being set up by Neymar. Part of the crowd chanted Messi’s name but ultras from the Auteuil stands left the stadium seven minutes later.

“It’s something I don’t understand. In football, you win, you lose. We try with all our heart,” said Marco Verratti, the only player to have won eight top-flight French titles.

Internazionale moved to the top of the Serie A standings after they earned a 3-1 victory over Roma on Saturday. With rivals Milan not in action until Sunday against Lazio, last season’s champions took full advantage to move to the Serie A summit after beating a Roma side who had gone 12 games unbeaten in the Italian top flight before their trip to the San Siro.

Lautaro Martínez celebrates after his goal.
Lautaro Martínez celebrates after his goal. Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

Flying full-back Denzel Dumfries fired his side into the lead on the half-hour mark, before a fine solo effort from Marcelo Brozovic doubled the dominant hosts’ advantage five minutes before the break.

The striker Lautaro Martínez headed home from a corner in the 52nd minute to make it three for Inter. Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored on a consolation in the 85th minute but it was too little too late for the visitors. Inter’s fourth successive league win moved them on to 72 points from 33 matches, one ahead of Milan. Roma stay fifth on 58 points.

In Germany, Bayern Munich sealed their 10th Bundesliga title in succession by beating Borussia Dortmund 2-1. Earlier Union Berlin struck twice late in the game to come from a goal down and win 2-1 at RB Leipzig, taking revenge for their midweek last-gasp German Cup semi-final exit at the hands of the same opponents.

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Sven Michel’s 86th-minute goal cancelled out Yussuf Poulsen’s opener for Leipzig in the 46th, before Kevin Behrens drilled in an 89th-minute winner. Leipzig had beaten them on Wednesday by the same score thanks to Emil Forsberg’s stoppage-time winner.

Leipzig dropped to fourth place on 54, with Bayer Leverkusen in third on 55 following their 4-1 win over relegated Greuther Fürth.

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