10 seasons on: The XI that saved PSG from relegation on the final day

Josh Challies

In 2011, French football underwent a massive change as Paris Saint-Germain were taken over by Qatari investors who sought to make the side from the French capital a powerhouse in Europe.

In 2013, PSG lifted the Ligue 1 title for only the third time in their history and the first time since 1994. Since then, they’ve won every domestic trophy since and have now won more league titles in the past four years than they boasted during the rest of their history.

Things could have been a lot different though as the current Paris Saint-Germain side is incomparable when compared to their counterparts a decade ago, where the Parisiens were almost relegated from Ligue 1 for the first time in their history.

The differences between the modern PSG and the side of old are not just found on the field, though, as PSG prepared for the 2007/08 season on the back of a season marred by violence between fans, poor results and racism- which led PSG to ban over 300 offenders.

PSG did well to hold onto key-players like Pauleta, Mickael Landreau, Bernard Mendy, Sylvain Armand and Jerome Rothen in the summer, whilst they strengthen their ranks with the addition of Zoumana Camara and Peguy Luyindula, who arrived from St. Etienne and Marseille respectively.

Chairman Alain Cayzac, who was replaced mid-season by Simon Tahar, hold bold expectations for the forthcoming campaign, although he did stop short of declaring his team could be potential champions, and a 16th placed finish in Ligue 1, the joint-worst finish in the top flight for the Parisian outfit, was certainly not on the agenda – and their season was only saved on the final day, as this side defeated Sochaux to avoid relegation.

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The season started with a five-game winless run, including a shock defeat to RC Lens at the Parc des Princes, but positive results were secured against Marseille and Monaco, though, it proved to be a false-dawn as PSG struggled throughout the campaign.

Remarkably, PSG only secured back-to-back wins once during the 38-game season, whilst their longest unbeaten record stretched for five matches. In comparison, they went eight matches without a win and occupied a position in the relegation spots for five consecutive weeks towards the end of the season.

A draw with in form St. Etienne on the penultimate weekend of the season saw PSG rise out of the relegation zone with just one game to go and their Ligue 1 status was secured on the final weekend, following a 2-1 victory against Sochaux.

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