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The Daily Bee: Lille OSC Crowned Kings of France

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The underdog story capped off a wild Championship Weekend

Angers SCO vs Lille: French Ligue 1
Lille celebrate their title after defeating Angers 2-1
Photo by Yusuf Ozcan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Good morning, everyone! I hope you enjoyed Championship Weekend.

There was pulse-pounding action from beginning to end this weekend, starting with the Bundesliga and carrying through to Ligue 1 late on Sunday. I won’t do a comprehensive breakdown of everything that took place, because to be honest that would take me hours and would be thousands of words, but I’ll try to highlight some of the key... uh... highlights.

Lille crowned kings of France

The biggest story of the weekend, and one that would be getting more attention if it were in any other league, is that Lille successfully held on to their slim lead in the title chase, defeating Angers 2-1 to hold off Paris Saint-Germain and secure victory, on the final day of the season no less. A pair of first half goals from the 21-year-old Canadian Jonathan David and Lille’s 35-year-old top goalscorer Burak Yilmaz were basically enough to seal the deal without any controversy.

While Angers did give a few viewers heart attacks by scoring to make the game 2-1, when a draw would’ve been enough to move Lille down to second place, it was in the final minute of stoppage time, so there were only around thirty seconds of play before the final whistle blew and Lille’s players sprinted onto the pitch.

Lille winning the title in France is massive. It’s the first time since 2012 that a club besides Monaco or PSG have won the league. It also puts Lille into pot 1 in the Champions League, which will hopefully put them in a position to advance into the group stage and raise France’s UEFA coefficient.

More importantly, it shows that there’s no excuse for clubs like Borussia Dortmund. The financial disparity between PSG and Lille is much larger than the gulf between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. While Bayern Munich are a better run club than PSG and use their money more efficiently, they have slipped up at various points over the past few years. Just two seasons ago, BVB brought the title chase down to the final match day, and could have won a title if they hadn’t suffered a series of losses to opponents they should’ve beaten.

Werder Bremen get relegated, while Cologne move on to the playoff

Werder Bremen’s precipitous fall down the table culminated with one final defeat against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday morning. Coupled with Cologne’s 1-0 defeat against Schalke, this result was enough to bury Werder in 17th in one of two automatic relegation spots. Cologne’s victory pushed them into 16th, meaning they will now play Holstein Kiel in a two-leg relegation playoff. The other club threatened with relegation, Arminia Bielefeld, beat Stuttgart 2-0 to remain in the Bundesliga next season.

I’m very sad to see Werder Bremen go down. They’re my second-favorite club by a wide margin. They have a rich history and a large fanbase. Cologne are also a big and historic club so I suppose it’s good for the league that they’re staying up as well, but I still would have preferred that Bremen stay up.

Robert Lewandowski breaks Gerd Müller’s record

Atletico also hold on to win La Liga

Atletico Madrid weren’t underdogs in the same way that Lille were, but at many points over the last few months it looked like they were going to bottle the league away. Like Lille, however, they managed to claw their way forward, and with some help from Real Madrid stumbling down the stretch, managed to finish the league out in front, if only barely. They almost looked like they were going to bottle it again on Saturday when they went down 1-0 to Valladolid, who were fighting to avoid relegation themselves. However, a pair of goals from Angel Correa and Luis Suarez nudged them in front. They ran Diego Simeone’s blood pressure through the ringer by failing to score a third goal, but still managed to hold on and win the title.

There were some other events going on around football, but those were all the major ones. While La Liga and Ligue 1 were being decided, BVB’s squad was up to more important matters.

BVB celebrate the end of the season with Five Guys Burgers and Fries

The players we follow are at the very peak of physical fitness, and are thus required to follow some of the strictest diets imaginable. I’m talking nothing but lean protein, vegetables, and maybe some starches like sweet potatoes. However, with the season ending, BVB’s players have a rare chance to indulge, and they chose one of the most resplendent options imaginable:

Judging from the shirt of the employee in the top-left picture, BVB visited a Five Guys in Dortmund for burgers and fries following their victory against Leverkusen. All I can say about this, is that I’m happy to see our boys pigging out on some greasy food, an activity with which I am well acquainted. It’s the first thing I’ve ever seen Erling Haaland do that I feel I can relate to.

The Daily Buzz

What was your favorite moment from Championship Weekend?