Current Ligue 1 holders once again denied Paris Saint-Germain a title after they lifted their first trophy ahead of the 2021-22 season, beating them 1-0 in the Trophee des Champions season curtain at Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv, Israel. Portuguese midfielder Xeka scored the only goal of the event in the half-time with an impressive strike from outside the penalty area.
The victory also gave Jocelyn Gourvennec, who succeeded the league-winning coach Christopher Galtier, his first trophy in his debut as head coach for the northern club. Galtier guided Lille to one of the biggest surprises in French soccer as they claimed their fifth Ligue 1 title that also ended PSG’s three-year league winning streak. Follow us for more live soccer and football fixtures.
Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG entered the match without the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Sergio Ramos, Neymar, Angel di Maria, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Marco Verratti and new star signings Spanish defender Sergio Ramos and Italian ‘keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Georginio Wijnaldum, who signed from Liverpool on a free transfer, made his debut for PSG replacing Eric Ebimbe in the 71st minute.
Lille opened the scoring with Xeka’s fine strike from the edge of the penalty area that beat goalkeeper Navas just before halftime. PSG searched for an equalizer with Mauro Icardi finding the ball in the Lille goal on 76 minutes, twisting a deft clip from close range but was ruled offside. Wijnaldum almost made his debut with a late goal in stoppage time but it was saved brilliantly by keeper Jardim.
The 27-year-old Xeka was named Man of the Match after the winning goal. “The Man of the match trophy is a bonus,” said an elated Xeka. “We played as we usually do, as we have done in recent years. LOSC has a very special identity and we showed it again this evening. We deserve this trophy. I’m very happy to be named man of the match but for me the most important thing is the team.
Les Dogues beat and drew against PSG last season without conceding a goal, and kept another clean sheet this time despite selling France backup goalkeeper Mike Maignan to AC Milan. Lille finished the season unbeaten on the road since November last year. The Ligue 1 season will kick-off next weekend, with PSG to visit promoted Troyes on Saturday and Lille is at Metz on Sunday.
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