Verratti's record, matching Saint-Etienne and leaving it late – PSG's Ligue 1 triumph in numbers

By Sports Desk April 24, 2022

Rather fittingly given the underwhelming nature of Paris Saint-Germain's season, their record-equalling 10th Ligue 1 triumph was sealed with a draw at home to Lens.

So much was expected of PSG, fairly so, given their astonishing off-season recruitment, that ending 2021-22 with just one major trophy, and failing to reach the latter stages of either the Coupe de France or the Champions League, cannot be portrayed as anything but a disappointment.

One of those superstar recruits – Lionel Messi – got the goal for PSG on Saturday, though it was cancelled out by Corentin Jean late on as 10-man Lens fought back to draw 1-1.

It was just a fourth Ligue 1 goal for Messi, whose move from Barcelona has, really, not lived up to expectations, albeit the 34-year-old has provided 13 assists. The same can be said for Sergio Ramos – the former Real Madrid defender has made just five league starts in a season derailed by injury – while Gianluigi Donnarumma has had some shaky moments. Indeed, he did not play as PSG sealed the title and his 75 per cent save percentage, while impressive, does not better that of Keylor Navas (78.4).

Neymar took most of the season to get up to speed and if not for Kylian Mbappe, the title race may have been much closer. PSG might not have the France star to rely on for much longer, and doubt remains over Mauricio Pochettino's future.

Nevertheless, PSG do have a title to celebrate, one that makes them the joint-most successful team in Ligue 1 history, alongside Saint-Etienne, and an eighth of the QSI era.

Stats Perform, using Opta data, looks at the key numbers behind the success, and some records that might still be in PSG's sights.

 

Leaving it late (or later than usual)

It has always seemed like a procession to the title for PSG this season but, actually, this is the latest they have left it to get the crown secured since the 2014-15 season.

Back then, PSG were not champions until matchday 37. They got the job done on matchday 34 this time around, though that is still later than in 2018-19 (33), 2017-18 (33) and 2015-16 (30). That is not counting 2019-20, when PSG were handed the title by default due to the coronavirus pandemic.

PSG have averaged 2.29 points per game so far in 2021-22, which is their lowest total when winning the title since 2014-15 (2.18).

They are, however, the first team to be crowned French champions eight times in the space of 10 seasons (Saint-Etienne and Lyon did so on seven occasions).

PSG have collected 78 points to date. Should they win their remaining four matches, they will set the fifth-highest points total in Ligue 1 history (90).

Verratti sets Ligue 1 record

Marco Verratti starred in Italy's Euro 2020 success and the mercurial midfielder has continued that form into this season.

He has played a part in all eight of PSG's title triumphs during the QSI era, making him the first player to win Ligue 1 eight times.

Team-mate Marquinhos is joint-second on the list with seven titles to his name.

Pochettino gets his first title

This marks Pochettino's first league success as a coach, after PSG lost out to Lille last season.

The former Tottenham boss has won 39 of his 55 Ligue 1 matches in charge, with the other 16 games split equally between draws and defeats.

His win rate of 71 per cent ranks him some way behind his two predecessors, however – Thomas Tuchel (76) and Unai Emery (74).

Pochettino's PSG have scored 2.2 goals per game and collected 2.3 points per match on average, conceding 0.9 goals per game.

He is the sixth Argentine coach to win a title across Europe's big five leagues, joining Diego Simeone, Luis Carniglia, Alfredo di Stefano, Jorge Valdano and Helenio Herrera (though the latter became a French national). Carniglia, with Nice, is the only other Argentine boss to win Ligue 1.

Topping the stats

As would be expected, PSG dominate the statistics so far in Ligue 1. They have had more possession (62.9), played more passes per game (663), scored more goals per match (2.2) and had more sequences of 10+ passes (21.5 per match).

PSG have only dropped two points from winning positions all season – one of those coming on Saturday – while they have gained 21 from losing positions, more than any other team. Their 18 different goalscorers is also a league high.

Related items

  • Mkhitaryan completes move to Inter after 'perfect end' to Roma career Mkhitaryan completes move to Inter after 'perfect end' to Roma career

    Henrikh Mkhitaryan says winning the Europa Conference League was the "perfect conclusion" to his Roma career after finalising a move to Serie A rivals Inter.

    The ex-Armenia international spent three years at Stadio Olimpico, the first of those on loan, following an underwhelming spell in England with Manchester United and Arsenal.

    Mkhitaryan made 117 appearances for Roma – only four others featured more regularly during his time at the club – and directly contributed to 55 goals.

    Indeed, over that period, Lorenzo Pellegrini (56) was the only player to score and assist more goals for the Giallorossi in all competitions.

    He played nine times in Roma's successful Europa Conference League campaign under Jose Mourinho last time out, with that the Italian side's first trophy in 60 years.

    Following the expiration of his Roma contract earlier this week, Mkhitaryan was unveiled as an Inter player on Saturday on a reported two-year deal.

    Mkhitaryan posted an emotional farewell to Roma supporters on his social media, reserving special praise for head coach Mourinho.

    "Roma is a truly unique club," he said in an open letter. "Your support has been outstanding and I will always be very proud of it.

    "When I wore this shirt for the first time, I had a goal: to make this club win and to make its fantastic fans happy. Goal achieved in Tirana! 

    "This triumph was the perfect conclusion to my three years in the Giallorossi. Now it's time to say goodbye.

    "I want to thank all the people who work in the club for the special relationship built together over the years. 

    "A huge thank you to our technical staff and in particular to Mr. Mourinho for his trust and attention towards me and for the extraordinary motivations he gave me as a player.

    "I gave my all for Roma on and off the pitch. It was a great honour to play here and I will never forget the amazing moments we had together. 

    "This club and the Eternal City will remain forever in my heart. I love you!"

    Mkhitaryan is Inter's fourth confirmed signing of the transfer window following the arrivals of Andre Onana, Romelu Lukaku and Kristjan Asllani, the latter two joining on loan.

    Simone Inzaghi's side, who finished second to Milan in a tense Scudetto battle last time out, begin their 2022-23 Serie A campaign away at Lecce on August 13.

  • Rumour Has It: Neymar's agent calls Chelsea as he explores move away from PSG Rumour Has It: Neymar's agent calls Chelsea as he explores move away from PSG

    Brazil star Neymar is reportedly interested in a move to the Premier League after being informed Paris Saint-Germain will not stand in his way if he wishes to depart.

    ESPN is reporting that Neymar's agent has been in touch with Chelsea to gauge their interest in bringing in the 30-year-old, who scored 13 goals and added six assists in 22 Ligue 1 contests this past season.

    While Neymar's talent is not in question, his health may be, having missed over two months of this campaign after suffering an ankle injury, and that is coming off a 2020-21 season where he only played 18 league games due to ankle and adductor injuries.


    TOP STORY – NEYMAR WEIGHS UP CHELSEA MOVE AS PSG GIVE GREEN LIGHT

    ESPN's report mentions that Neymar's agent, Pini Zahavi, believes there are only "two or three teams" that would be able to meet his wage demands, and it is thought that Chelsea are hoping to make a splash under the new ownership of Todd Boehly.

    Spanish publication Sport claims Neymar activated a clause in his PSG contract as soon as he possibly could on July 1 to add one extra year to his deal – tying him to the French giants until 2027 – but that does not rule out a move happening.

    Chelsea's Brazilian centre-back and Neymar's former PSG team-mate Thiago Silva has been vocal about his desire to recruit the superstar forward, but his salary of €43million could stand in the way if the Stamford Bridge club decide they would rather use this transfer period's resources in defence.


    ROUND-UP

    – The Star is reporting that Manchester United are closing in on a deal with Christian Eriksen as his contract with Brentford has expired and he is available on a free transfer.

    – Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele is expected to leave on a free transfer, with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich the three teams listed by Marca as his potential landing spots.

    Everton are hoping to replace Richarlison with Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis after their Brazilian forward departed for Tottenham this week.

    – According to The Sun, Fulham are finalising a £17million move for 26-year-old Sporting defensive midfielder Joao Palhinha.

    – ESPN is reporting Fulham have offered £10m for Manchester United's Andreas Pereira as the 26-year-old returns from his loan stint with Flamengo.

  • Morrison announces departure from Derby County Morrison announces departure from Derby County

    Jamaica international Ravel Morrison will once again be on the move after announcing his departure from English club Derby County.

    The 29-year-old former standout youth prospect signed with the then Championship club at the start of last summer, following his release by Dutch side ADO Den Haag.  The midfielder went on to have a decent campaign for derby, scoring 5 goals in 37 appearances.

    Following the club’s relegation from the second division, however, a number of players and the team’s manager, former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney, have announced their departure.  The Reggae Boy confirmed his departure from Pride Park via social media platform Instagram.

    Thank you @dcfcofficial all the players, staff & fans for making me feel at home, was a season full of ups and downs but was a real honour to be part of such a wonderful club," Morrison wrote.

    "I wish everyone at the club success moving forward."

    The player has had loan spells with Birmingham City, QPR, and Cardiff City and spells aboard with Lazio, Atlas, and Ostersund. He returned to Sheffield United in 2019 for a season, before another single season in the Netherlands concluded with him moving to the East Midlands.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.