Lyon cruise to Ligue 1 crown

Published: Saturday 17 May 2008, 22.00CET
Olympique Lyonnais sealed their seventh successive French top-flight title after overcoming AJ Auxerre 3-1 to hold off the challenge of FC Girondins de Bordeaux.
Lyon cruise to Ligue 1 crown
Lyon players celebrate the club's seventh straight title ©Getty Images

Olympique Lyonnais sealed their seventh successive Ligue 1 crown after winning 3-1 at AJ Auxerre to hold off the challenge of second-placed FC Girondins de Bordeaux.

Nerves swept aside
Lyon went into the game with a two-point cushion over Bordeaux, but it was a lead that had been whittled away over recent weeks after being a lot more commanding for most of the season. Goals in the first ten minutes from Karim Benzema and Fred settled any nerves Lyon might have had before the season's final round of fixtures kicked off. Kim Källström added a third six minutes after half-time and not even a late Frédéric Thomas effort could take the gloss off the win and title triumph. Lyon now have the chance to complete the first double in their history against Paris Saint-Germain FC next weekend.

Relegation picture
PSG also had a final-day win which confirmed their top-flight status for next year after struggling in the relegation zone for much of the campaign. An Amara Diané double (22, 82) was enough for a 2-1 triumph at FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. That result, combined with Toulouse FC's similarly victorious scoreline against Valenciennes FC, means that RC Lens join FC Metz and RC Strasbourg as the three demoted sides after they could only manage a 2-2 home draw with Bordeaux, who needed to win to have any chance of pinching the title from Lyon.

Final-day drama
In the battle for European places, Olympique de Marseille dramatically grabbed the last UEFA Champions League qualifying spot by defeating Strasbourg 4-3, with two goals from Djibril Cissé, to overtake AS Nancy-Lorraine, who lost 3-2 at home against Stade Rennais FC. Elsewhere, there were final-day wins for Metz against Le Mans UC 72, OGC Nice over SM Caen and AS Saint-Etienne at home to AS Monaco FC. FC Lorient and LOSC Lille Métropole drew 1-1.

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