The 2021-22 season of European football is set for an epic climax with two of the five major leagues across Europe going down to the wire. With yesterday’s results, Paris Saint-Germain have lifted a historic tenth Ligue 1 title, cementing their domination of the French league. Bayern Munich have continued their unchallenged run in the Bundesliga, lifting their 10th consecutive title with a win over Borussia Dortmund last night.
Real Madrid almost have their hands on the title, with the Spanish giants just a win away from winning the La Liga trophy once more. The Premier League and Serie A are both set for a close finish, though, with the eventual champions to be decided over the upcoming weeks.
Here we take a look at this season’s champions from Europe’s big five leagues:
LIGUE 1 – PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
Paris Saint-Germain will end the season on a high note after winning Ligue 1 for a historic tenth time. A 1-1 draw against Lens last night at the Parc des Princes courtesy of Lionel Messi’s winner sealed the championship for the Parisians with an unbeatable 16-point lead. PSG have reclaimed the title from Lille, who shocked fans across Europe with their stunning run at the top last year.
PSG started the year as this season’s dream team, boasting the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappe and Gianluigi Donnarumma. Mauricio Pochettino’s men started off the season on a good note by winning eight consecutive fixtures before dropping their first points against Rennes in October. A string of losses mid-season and their elimination from the Champions League have dented confidence in the club’s stated ambitions, but their lead at the top has been unassailable since the third week of the season.
Lionel Messi’s arrival at the Parc des Princes was supposed to spark a revolution, but the 2021 Ballon d’Or winner has scored just four goals so far this season with the club. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar have once again been the main men for the French giants, scoring 22 and 11 goals respectively in the league.
The Parisians are reportedly considering sacking Mauricio Pochettino immediately given the club’s ambitions to become one of the best in Europe. Despite spending the most of any club in the past few years in the transfer market, PSG’s ambitions to announce themselves on the European stage fell flat once again as they were eliminated by Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
BUNDESLIGA – BAYERN MUNICH
Bayern Munich capped their mixed season with a historic 10th straight Bundesliga title with a win over Borussia Dortmund last night. The season neither sparked a revolution at the German club as many predicted after the arrival of Julian Nagelsmann nor did it end as a complete disaster like some predicted as the club goes through a transition phase.
The defending champions started the season with a dull 1-1 draw over Borussia Mönchengladbach, but their campaign picked up steam in September with nine straight wins. The Bavarians have lost just four fixtures throughout the season, picking up 75 points from their 31 games. They were aided by RB Leipzig’s poor form early on, allowing Julian Nagelsmann to focus on the club’s European ambitions.
Robert Lewandowski has once again been the goal-scoring machine for Bayern Munich, scoring 33 goals so far this season, including two memorable hat-tricks. Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich have mastered the art of assisting the Polish striker, with Muller delivering a stunning 17 assists so far.
The departure of David Alaba and Javi Martinez at the back have caught up to the Bavarians, with cracks in the defence ultimately ruining their hopes of a European title. A surprise win by Villarreal in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals will come as a huge disappointment at the Allianz Arena, as Julian Nagelsmann’s men were one of the favourites to win the title.
LA LIGA – REAL MADRID ONE WIN AWAY
Barcelona’s 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano last night has effectively sealed the La Liga title for Real Madrid. With 78 points from 33 fixtures, Carlo Ancelotti’s team now require just one win from their five remaining fixtures to claim the title without any worry. But even that is not required for the capital giants, as Barcelona’s form remains questionable, and Real Madrid can take a walk to the title by just drawing all their fixtures.
The focus for now in the Real Madrid dressing room is firmly on Tuesday’s Champions League game against Manchester City. Although Carlo Ancelotti will be happy to take home the team’s 35th title, he would be more eager to claim the European championship for his team to cement his already legendary status. Barcelona’s resurgence for a while under Xavi Hernandez had taken Real Madrid out of the spotlight, but Los Blancos remain one of the best teams in the continent right now, alongside Manchester City and Liverpool.
With La Liga almost sealed, Real Madrid would bring out their full strength on Saturday to close the deal before focusing all their efforts on the Champions League.
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