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Ligue 1 wrap: Montpellier champions; Caen, Dijon relegated

21 May 2012 02:32

Montpellier won their first Ligue 1 title thanks to a 2-1 success at Auxerre on Sunday.

The situation for Rene Girard's men was simple: win or draw at already relegated Auxerre and be crowned champions on France and win their first domestic trophy of any kind for 22 years.

But the task became a lot harder when Olivier Kapo headed home from a corner after just 21 minutes.

Nigerian John Utaka levelled for Montpellier shortly after though, converting Souleymane Camara's cross from close range.

The match was shortly suspended after a range of objects were thrown onto the pitch that reportedly included toilet paper, tomatoes and tennis balls.

And the game was again delayed – this time for a lengthy amount of time – when flares were tossed onto the pitch by Auxerre fans later in the second half.

This meant that when the match resumed with just over 15 minutes to play, second-placed PSG had already won 2-1 at Lorient, meaning it was essential that Montpellier got a point from their match to be champions.

They made sure of that just after the second break though as Utaka scored a terrific left-foot strike after 76 minutes.

Auxerre could not mount a comeback and the whistle sparked wild celebrations among the travelling fans and players.

PSG finished three points behind the champions on the table after Javier Pastore and Thiago Motta netted in their come-from-behind 2-1 win against Lorient.

Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard scored a hat-trick in his last match for Lille as they defeated Nancy 4-1.

Hazard – who has publicly stated that he will be joining either Manchester City or Manchester United in the off-season – wrapped up his six-year stint as a senior player at the club with three goals in the first 35 minutes in Lille's cruisy win.

His 10th-minute opener was quickly cancelled out by Reynald Lemaitre but Tulio de Melo edged Lille in front again on 23 minutes.

And Hazard wrapped up the win, following his 27th minute goal with a penalty eight minutes later as Rudi Garcia's men sealed third spot on the table, giving them entry into the playoffs for next season's UEFA Champions League.

Lyon finished fourth, winning the sole Europa League spot despite giving away a two-goal lead in a 4-3 home loss to Nice.

Lisandro Lopez and Jimmy Briand had Lyon in control after 26 minutes but Fabian Monzon and Kafoumba Coulibaly responded before half-time for the visitors.

Briand cancelled out Didier Digard's effort but Esmael Goncalves hit the winner with 17 minutes to play for Nice, who could have been relegated but finished in 13th.

In the relegation battle, Ajaccio saved themselves with a 2-0 win at Toulouse thanks to a first-half double from Johan Cavalli.

That meant that Caen, who lost 3-1 at mid-table Valenciennes, will drop into Ligue 2 next season, where they will be joined by Dijon and Auxerre.

Stade Rennes thrashed Dijon 5-0 with Jires Kembo-Ekoko netting a double against the losers, who finished with nine men.

Brest and Sochaux triumphed on the final day to avoid the threat of relegation, winning 1-0 against Evian TG and Marseille respectively, while Bordeaux finished the season with six wins on the trot thanks to a 3-2 success at Saint-Etienne.

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Info

1 - 2

Competition
Ligue 1
Date
20 May 2012
Game week
38
Kick-off
21:00
Half-time
1 - 1
Full-time
1 - 2
Venue
Stade de l'Abbé Deschamps (Auxerre)
Attendance
16509

Goals

O. Kapo 21'
(assist by R. Contout) 
1 - 0
1 - 1
33' J. Utaka
 (assist by S. Camara)
1 - 2

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
7
14
13
11
30
# Player Bookings
22
12
18
1
11
14
21

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