Seven people were arrested as thousands of fans gathered despite a coronavirus curfew to celebrate Lille’s Ligue 1 title, the prefecture of the Nord region said on Monday.
The fans gathered in the northern French city after Lille won at Angers to clinch the title in their last game of the season on Sunday night.
“The police had to make seven arrests, including one for ‘attempted homicide against the police using a vehicle’,” the prefecture said.
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Three people were arrested for throwing projectiles, two for burning rubbish bins and one for possession of fireworks, it added.
Twenty people were treated by emergency services, including three who needed to be taken to hospital, the statement said.
The police had set up a roadblock to control entry to the Grand-Place, the historic centre of the city, but supporters gathered anyway and were allowed to make their way into the square through side streets.
They waved flags and scarfs in their team’s colours, in a red halo of smoke, to the sound of exploding firecrackers while singing “We are the champions” and “Freed from desire” and dancing.
The mood was generally festive and good-natured atmosphere.
On Saturday, the regional prefect Michel Lalande had called on the people of Lille to “enjoy this moment of sport in complete safety, in a health context that is improving but remains fragile”.
He asked “everyone to continue to respect all the health measures in force and not to set off fireworks on the public highway”.
IMPROBABLE TITLE TRIUMPH
Lille won the Ligue 1 title on Sunday thanks to a 2-1 victory at Angers which ensured they were crowned French champions for the first time since 2011 on the final day of the season.
An early Jonathan David strike and Burak Yilmaz’s penalty in first-half stoppage time ensured that Christophe Galtier’s Lille finished one point ahead of second-placed Paris Saint-Germain, who won 2-0 at Brest.
Angelo Fulgini pulled one back in added time at the end of the match, but the hosts couldn’t stop Lille becoming champions for the fourth time in their history.
“This is exceptional. It’s been a long day and a lot of pressure. To beat Paris Saint-Germain to the league title is something exceptional,” a jubilant Galtier said to Canal+.
“The players were amazing … the credit goes to the players, they are the heroes.”
The title triumph came after another away success for Lille, who finish the season unbeaten on the road since November, and ends a three-year league winning streak for PSG.
Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG will have to settle for the French Cup in a disappointing season for the mega-rich club.
They lost eight times — a record since they were taken over by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011 — and took only one point from their two matches with Lille.
Neymar had already missed a penalty when they took the lead in the 37th minute at Brest thanks to a freak own goal from Romain Faivre, who somehow diverted Angel Di Maria’s corner into his own goal from way out near his own touch line.
Kylian Mbappe made sure of the win in the 71st minute but by that time the destination of the title was already as good as certain.
“There are no worries. We lost the title and now we have to focus on the future,” said Mbappe, who was crowned Ligue 1 top scorer for the third year in a row.