Lille shocked everyone and won the league on Sunday 23rd 2021, leaving behind the best team in France – PSG. This was their 4th champions title overall, with the previous one being in the 2010/11 season. Lille finished this year’s campaign with 83 points in active, only 1 point above PSG. Did the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as a new manager for PSG prevent the Parisians from becoming the champions or was Lille so good this season?
Personally, I think that Lille had an incredible season. In addition to playing in the Ligue 1, they participated in the Europa League where Lille managed to advance into the playoff but, unfortunately, lost to Ajax in round 16 (both games finished 2-1 to Ajax). And all that not to mention the fact that Lille also played in French Cup, but lost to PSG 0-3 in the 8th round. In general, we can say that Lille had a pretty difficult season, but it didn’t hinder them from being at the top of the league, which makes the final result even more impressive..
In Ligue 1 Lille won 24, drew 11 and lost only 3 games during the whole period of the 2020/21 season. Their biggest victory was against Lens and Lorient 4-0; the 3 defeats were against Brest 2-3, Angers 1-2 and Nimes 1-2.
It’s worth to mention Lille’s manager Christophe Galtier. He headed the club on December 22nd in the 2017/18 season when Lille were in the 18th place of the league and saved them from relegation: Lille finished 17th.
In the 2018/19 season he achieved some unbelievable results and managed to secure the second place for his team, which qualified them for the Champions League (even though there, Lille finished last in the group with 1 point only in the 2019/20 season). And now, only one year later, Christophe made them the Ligue champions almost 10 years after their previous title.
Of course, let’s not forget that a big role in victory has been played by Lille’s quality squad. For example, the striker Yilmaz Burak, who scored 16 goals, and David Jonathan, who scored 13 goals.
However, while I was writing my article, the situation changed drastically. On May 26th the football world found out that Christophe Galtier decided to leave the club. Surely, Lille’s fans are worried that his departure will cost the team their success and they won’t be able to repeat it come season. So far, it is unknown who is going to replace Galtier, and the football world is holding its breath waiting to see what will happen with the champions.