Football: Soccer-Galtier praises players as Lille beat PSG to Ligue 1 title


PARIS (Reuters) – Lille coach Christophe Galtier heaped praise on his players after they clinched the Ligue 1 title ahead of Paris St Germain in the final round of matches on Sunday.

Lille, who have the league’s best defence, won 2-1 at Angers to finish with a club record of 83 points, one ahead of PSG who beat Stade Brest 2-0 to end up second one point behind.

“It’s a great performance. It’s incredible,” said Galtier, who could leave a side he took over when they were set to battle relegation in 2017 after saying earlier this week that he had not yet made a decision on his future.

Galtier was close to former Lille owner and president Gerard Lopez, who left amid the club’s financial difficulties last December.

Galtier stuck to his guns with his team selection as he kept faith in Jonathan David despite a dismal start to the season when Turkish veteran Burak Yilmaz was injured in the spring.

The Canadian striker has blossomed into a top forward and fittingly netted the opener on Sunday before Yilmaz added the second with a penalty on the stroke of halftime.

“It was a long, tough day, we were under a lot of pressure and beating PSG on the last day is outstanding,” said Galtier.

“The credit goes to the players. This team scored points against their title rivals. I can’t forget that they beat PSG away after losing against Nimes at home.

“I love this squad, I love these players.”

Lille took over at the top for good after a 1-0 win at PSG with seven games left and, despite a 0-0 draw at St Etienne last weekend, kept their cool to wrap up a first title since 2011.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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