Xeka’s first-half thunderbolt proved the difference as Lille secured the Trophee des Champions for the first time, in the process ending Paris Saint-Germain’s eight-year domination of the competition.
The Lille midfielder was teed up by Burak Yilmaz before blasting in from long range on the stroke of half-time, with PSG unable to make their possession count from there on in.
The story of the final could have been different, however, had Abdou Diallo taken the best second-half opportunity, failing to convert a headed effort from inside the six-yard area with just Leo Jardim to beat.
After dethroning the capital side as Ligue 1 champions last campaign, Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side have now collected the first piece of silverware of France’s domestic season, with the showpiece event taking place in Israel this year.
Yilmaz’s drilled free-kick seemed destined to open the scoring inside 10 minutes, though Keylor Navas’ fingertip save pushed the effort wide of his left-hand post.
PSG, who were hampered by big-name absentees, including Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, dictated proceedings for the remainder of the first half, yet only Julian Draxler tested Jardim as he fizzed from range to force the goalkeeper into a smart save.
Yilmaz worked Navas once more on the counter, but it was Xeka who broke the deadlock as he powered in a right-footed effort from just outside the area.
Diallo should have restored parity with a close-range header but somehow managed to nod wide after Mauro Icardi had redirected the ball towards the left-back.
Icardi thought he had levelled things up with 15 minutes to go but his chipped finish was ruled out for offside, while Draxler volleyed inches wide moments later as PSG drew a blank.
What does this mean? Gourvennec makes early impact with historic win
PSG, who had won the French top-flight title in seven out of the past eight campaigns before Lille’s unlikely triumph, were beaten as Gourvennec claimed a trophy in his first competitive game in charge.
Opposite number Mauricio Pochettino was in the hunt for a third crown with the French giants – and, in fact, of his managerial career – but it was Gourvennec who gained the initial psychological advantage, helping Lille lift the trophy at the third time of asking.
Lille’s defensive dominance
Presnel Kimpembe and Thilo Kehrer may have completed 159 of the 161 passes they attempted from the back as PSG remained patient in their build-up play, yet it was Jose Fonte and Sven Botman’s defensive guile that proved vital in deciding the outcome.
Lille’s centre-back pairing won every duel (two each) they competed for and kept Icardi’s chances to a minimum to secure a well-deserved clean sheet at Bloomfield Stadium.
Diallo missed PSG’s best chance of the second half as he headed wide to cap off a poor day for the left-back. With Mitchel Bakker departing to Bayer Leverkusen, Pochettino would have been hoping for the defender to show he can be a capable deputy to Layvin Kurzawa.
However, Diallo lost possession a team-high 24 times, won just 44.4 per cent of his 18 duels on the left flank and was also booked.
Key Opta facts
– This is the first time PSG have lost in 90 minutes in the competition, having triumphed in 10 of their 13 previous campaigns while failing in penalty shoot-outs in 2004, 2006 and 2010.
– Lille have now won two in a row against PSG in all competitions (1-0 in Ligue 1 in April) for the first time since May-September 2002.
– PSG have failed to score nine times in all competitions since the beginning of the 2020-21 season, including three times against Lille, the only opponents they have failed against more than once.
– Xeka has scored three goals in his last 12 games with Lille in all competitions, as many as in his first 102. It is his second goal from outside the box, the first coming against Guingamp in August 2018.
– Only Jonathan David (12) has been involved in more goals for Lille than Yilmaz in all competitions in 2021 (11 – 9 goals, 2 assists).
Lille kick off their Ligue 1 title defence with a trip to Metz on August 8, while PSG travel to Troyes the day before for their season opener.
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