Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Lens: Ligue 1 title clinched despite Messi strike being cancelled out
The Ligue 1 title once again belongs to Paris Saint-Germain, but they did not wrap it up in the fashion they would have liked.FotMob - last year
Lionel Messi scored a fine goal as Paris Saint-Germain sealed the Ligue 1 title despite being pegged back late on by 10-man Lens in a 1-1 draw at the Parc des Princes.
PSG went into the game knowing a point would be enough to claim a record-tying 10th Ligue 1 title and were hoping to get the job done in style on home turf.
Lens had Kevin Danso sent off in the 57th minute, and 11 minutes later Messi effectively clinched the title with a magnificent long-range goal.
Yet the title-winning moment was spoiled somewhat as slack PSG defending allowed Corentin Jean to steal in at the far post and ensure the hosts secured the trophy with a damp squib rather than a bang.
Mauricio Pochettino's men were booed off by the home fans at half-time, Seko Fofana and Danso having spurned early chances for Lens before Achraf Hakimi and Neymar went close for PSG.
PSG were improved after the break and Kylian Mbappe was denied by Jean-Louis Leca's save and Christopher Maurice Wooh's goal-line clearance from the rebound following Marco Verratti's quickly taken free-kick.
Danso paid the price for a rash challenge on Neymar on the edge of the area as he received a second yellow card. Although Leca turned Messi's subsequent free-kick behind, he could do nothing to prevent the Argentina international's thunderbolt from finding the net 10 minutes later.
It was a trademark Messi finish, his 25-yard shot lacking in perfect placement but possessing both the bend and velocity to leave Leca with no chance.
Yet the frustration that defined much of the evening returned in the 88th minute when Jean slid in to turn home Deiver Machado's ball across the face of goal and dampen the celebrations.
What does it mean? PSG achieve the bare minimum
The whistles and boos that rang round the Parc des Princes at half-time and after Lens' equaliser encapsulated how much of an expectation the Ligue 1 title has become for PSG.
They lost it to Lille last year and regained it in thoroughly underwhelming circumstances. Capturing a crown they have largely held dominion over since their Qatari takeover is unlikely to be enough to convince Mbappe to stay and the close-season will once again be about taking the steps needed to end PSG's wait for a maiden Champions League title.
Messi offers some belated magic
Moments to remember have been rare for Messi since he left Barcelona for PSG, with his goal here just his fourth in Ligue 1 this season. It was a reminder of his remarkable quality and the type of goal of which he will hope to produce more in his second season.
PSG defensive issues continue
An incredible loss of composure led to PSG's Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid, and their defensive woes have continued since, the late leveller here meaning they have conceded at least once in four of their last six games.
PSG visit Strasbourg on Friday. Lens host Nantes a day later.