Montpellier were crowned Ligue 1 Champions for the first time in their history on Sunday thanks to a 2-1 win at already relegated Auxerre.
Rene Girard’s men went in to the game knowing a point would see them win their first domestic trophy in 22 years but were dealt an early blow when Auxerre striker Olivier Kapo headed home a corner after 21 minutes.
The visitors went on to win the game thanks to a John Utaka brace. The Nigerian levelled the scores with a close range effort and then sealed the title late in the second half with a glorious left footed strike.
Despite being Europe’s highest spenders last season PSG could only finish 2nd, three points behind Girard’s men who have shocked the world of football with their fairytale campaign. At the start of the season Montpellier were 80/1 shots with bookmakers to win the title but have defied the odds having spent just €2 million.
As the fairytale season unfolded the careers of experienced players such as Utaka, centre-back Hilton and Souleymane Diawara were reignited. Young players such as Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Garry Bocaly, Benjamin Stambouli and Remy Cabella stamped their marks on the French Ligue and will more than likely attract much unwanted attention from Europe’s elite teams.
The difficulty Montpellier now face is keeping hold of their key players. The likes of Younes Belhanda and Ligue 1 top goal scorer Olivier Giroud have already attracted attention from overseas. And if Girard is to successfully defend the title next season he will be hoping to keep all his big stars whilst adding to his squad.