PSV Eindhoven to Red Star Belgrade: Weird & wonderful title wins

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport
Paris St-Germain players celebrate winning the 2016 Ligue 1 title after an emphatic 9-0 win at Troyes
Paris St-Germain players celebrate winning the 2016 Ligue 1 title after an emphatic 9-0 win at Troyes

With eight matches and 62 days to spare, Paris St-Germain have been crowned champions of France for the fourth time in a row.

A 9-0 victory at bottom club Troyes on Sunday gave Laurent Blanc's side an unassailable 25-point lead over nearest rivals Monaco.

No team in Europe's big five leagues - the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 - has won the title with more games left.

PSG broke a record held by Bayern Munich, who won the Bundesliga in 2014 with seven matches remaining.

Here, we take a look and some other weird and wonderful title wins in Europe.

Undefeated but still not champions

Galatasaray fans
Galatasaray won 20 of their 36 league matches in the 1985-86 season but missed out on the title

Galatasaray went through the Turkish league season unbeaten in 1985-86, but Istanbul rivals Besiktas took the title on goal difference despite losing two of their 36 games.

Gala are not the only team to go through a season without losing yet miss out on silverware.

Perugia went undefeated in Serie A in 1978-79 and still finished second - three points behind AC Milan. They had drawn 19 of their 30 matches.

A year earlier, Porto pipped undefeated Benfica to the Portuguese title on goal difference.

The best - on average

In 1951, both Red Star Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb finished the Yugoslavian season on 35 points, with Red Star awarded the title by virtue of a superior goal average.

Their 50 goals for and 21 against gave them a goal average of 2.381, just 0.013 better than Dinamo.

The unexpected title wins

There are plenty to choose from... here are just three.

England manager Roy Hodgson was 28 when he took charge of Swedish strugglers Halmstads BK in 1976. Hodgson won the league in his first season as a manager with a team that had almost been relegated the season before.

A 1-0 defeat of Iraklis on 1 May 1988 ensured Larissa took the Greek title with a game to spare - the first club from outside Athens or Salonika to finish top of the pile.

Earliest title wins in terms of games played in Europe's top five leagues
Premier LeagueManchester United2000-0133/3814 April
Serie A (since 94-95)Inter Milan2006-0733/3822 April
La Liga (since 97-98)Barcelona1997-9834/3818 April
Bundesliga (since 63-64)Bayern Munich2013-1427/3427 March
Ligue 1 (since 94-95)Paris St-Germain2015-1630/3813 March

Montpellier's Ligue 1 title success in 2012 was a big surprise in France, as Paris St-Germain had already received an injection of funds following the Qatari takeover.

Future Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud finished the season with 21 goals - one more than Eden Hazard, who joined Chelsea that summer, and five more than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, then of St Etienne and now at Borussia Dortmund.

Most titles?

They might have fallen on hard times in recent seasons but Rangers still have a staggering tally of 54 Scottish titles - that's 34 more than England's most frequent title winners Manchester United.

In Northern Ireland, Belfast-based Linfield have 51.

Most consecutive titles in Europe's big five leagues? That honour belongs to Lyon, who were crowned champions of France seven times in a row from 2002 to 2008.

LeagueTeamConsecutive titles
English top flightHuddersfield, Arsenal Liverpool, Man Utd3
Serie AJuventus, Torino, Inter Milan5
La LigaReal Madrid5
BundesligaBayern Munich, Borussia Monchengladbach3
Ligue 1Lyon7

Last-day dramas

When Manchester United's 2011-12 season ended, they were top of the Premier League - but one of the most dramatic conclusions to any season denied them the title.

A 1-0 win at Sunderland had taken the Red Devils to 89 points, and Manchester City - needing to match United's result - had only pulled level with Queens Park Rangers thanks to an injury-time goal from Edin Dzeko.

But there was still time for Sergio Aguero to win City their first title for 44 years - denying their fiercest rivals on goal difference in the sweetest fashion.

Man City lift Premier League trophy

But what about the last-day events that unfolded in the Netherlands five years earlier?

Heading into the final day, AZ Alkmaar, Ajax and PSV Eindhoven were all level on 72 points.

AZ Alkmaar, who started the day top on goal difference, were beaten 3-2 by struggling Excelsior.

With 13 minutes remaining Ajax, leading 2-0 at Willem II, were top on goal difference before PSV scored a fifth goal to beat Vitesse Arnhem 5-1 and win the title.

Dutch League

Back in England, there was plenty of drama on the final day of the Women's Super League in October 2014.

Liverpool started the day third - three points behind leaders Chelsea, who lost 2-1 at Manchester City.

Birmingham, who began the day two points behind Chelsea, could only draw 2-2 against Notts County.

Liverpool win dramatic WSL title

That opened the door for Liverpool - and goals from Natasha Dowie, Lucy Bronze and a penalty from Fara Williams saw them retain the title in dramatic fashion.

But the final day of the season has not always provided Liverpool with happy memories.

The date 26 May 1989 will forever be a painful one for Reds fans.

The venue was Anfield and Arsenal needed to win the game by at least two goals to snatch the title from Liverpool's grasp.

With Arsenal leading 1-0 and the clock ticking down, Michael Thomas burst through to win the match - and the title - for the Gunners.

Michael Thomas scores for Arsenal against Liverpool at Anfield
Arsenal needed a 2-0 win to pip Liverpool to the title and after Alan Smith scored, Michael Thomas bagged an injury-time winner