Lille secured their first Ligue 1 title in 10 years on Sunday, ending Paris Saint-Germain’s dominance of France’s top tier.
It has been an incredible season for Christophe Galtier’s team, who finished fourth in the shortened 2019-20 campaign.
But a talented squad full of vibrant, youthful attackers – albeit spearheaded by veteran campaigner Burak Yilmaz – has clinched Ligue 1 title number four for the club, with their success confirmed when they beat Angers 2-1 on the final day of the campaign.
Eden Hazard was among the stars to propel Lille to their last title, in 2011, with Les Douges also triumphing in 1946 and 1954.
PSG finished top in the previous three seasons, since Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe-inspired win in 2016-17. Indeed, it is only the second time since 2012-13 that the capital club has not won the title.
Using Opta data, we take a look at the numbers behind Lille’s sensational season.
STACKING UP THE POINTS
With 79 points after 36 games, Lille already set their best tally in a Ligue 1 season in their history (based on three points for a win) ahead of the penultimate meeting of 2020-21 with Saint-Etienne.
A win against Claude Puel’s team last week eluded Lille, though, with a point keeping PSG – who beat Reims – firmly in the running heading into the last round of fixtures.
Yet they came up with the vital three points against mid-table Angers.
Galtier’s side have lost only three league fixtures this term (W24, D11) – those defeats coming in November, January and March against Brest (2-3), Angers (1-2) and Nimes (1-2) respectively.
It is Galtier’s first Ligue 1 crown as a coach. Since his appointment at Lille in December 2017, only George Barry, between 1944 and 1946, has managed a better win rate in the club’s history (55.9 per cent).
MAGNIFICENT MAIGNAN MARSHALLS MISERLY DEFENCE
According to multiple reports, Mike Maignan may have played his final game for Lille, with Serie A giants Milan rumoured to have lined the goalkeeper up as their replacement for Gianluigi Donnarumma, who is out of contract next month.
Maignan joined Lille in 2015, and the 25-year-old has developed into one of the best goalkeepers in Europe.
He has kept 21 clean sheets in Ligue 1 this season, more than any other goalkeeper across the continent’s top five leagues, while before Sunday’s game, only PSG’s Keylor Navas (79.3) and Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak (80.2) had a better shot-stopping rate than Maignan (79.1) of ‘keepers to have played at least 15 games.
Ahead of Maignan, Lille’s defence have also performed admirably, with the experienced Jose Fonte partnering Dutch youngster Sven Botman, who has been linked to Liverpool.
Lille have let in just seven goals in the second half of Ligue 1 matches in 2020-21 and conceded only 22 times in total.
TURKISH DELIGHT AS YILMAZ ENJOYS LATE BLOOM
Eyebrows may have been raised when Lille brought in Yilmaz, the former Galatasaray, Trabzonspor and Besiktas striker.
However, the 35-year-old has more than proved any doubters wrong, scoring 16 times in his maiden Ligue 1 season, while also providing five assists.
His 21 direct goal involvements put him six ahead of any other Lille player, and his experience has profited a front line which includes Jonathan Bamba, Jonathan David, Yusuf Yazici and Jonathan Ikone, who have combined for 30 league goals.
Yilmaz is the first player to score at least 15 goals in his first season with Lille in Ligue 1 since Moussa Sow in 2010-11 (25), while his penalty at Angers beat the record for the most goals netted by a Turkish player in a single campaign in the competition, set by Mevlut Erdinc in 2009-10.
The striker has also shown an eye for the spectacular and Lille’s 12 goals from outside the box were more than any other team Ligue 1 team.