by Tom Williams
PARIS (AFP) - Bordeaux clinched their first French league championship title in 10 years after winning 1-0 at Caen on a dramatic final day of the season on Saturday.
Former Caen striker Yoan Gouffran scored in the early stages of the second half to earn Laurent Blanc's side a record 11th consecutive league win and secure a second trophy to go alongside the League Cup they won in April.
The result sparked scenes of wild celebration both in the stadium and at Bordeaux's Esplanade des Quinconces, where 50,000 fans had gathered to watch the match on a big screen, while defeat condemned Caen to relegation.
Second-placed Marseille knew that only defeat for Bordeaux would allow them to snatch the title and they won 4-0 at home to Rennes.
Senegal striker Mamadou Niang netted a brace, while Ivorian Bakari Kone scored once and also saw a long-range shot hit the post and rebound into the net off Rennes goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez.
Marseille midfielder Benoit Cheyrou said: "We did the job tonight but it's difficult to be overjoyed because we only finished second. The overriding feeling is the disappointment that we aren't champions.
"It's at home that we lost points but you have to recognise Bordeaux's great performance. You have to congratulate them - they finished on 80 points. We had a good season but they were still better."
Caen will be joined in Ligue 2 next season by Nantes, who went down despite a 2-1 victory over Auxerre, but 10-time French champions St Etienne spared themselves from the drop by thrashing Valenciennes 4-0.
Sochaux and Le Mans joined Les Verts in preserving their top-flight status, Sochaux winning 1-0 at Grenoble thanks to a first-half goal by Mevlut Erding and Le Mans drawing 1-1 at Lorient.
Hundreds of Nantes fans streamed out of their Stade de la Beaujoire ground in protest at their plight before kick-off, returning after 15 minutes having missed Ivan Klasnic's 12th-minute opener.
Jeremy Berthod finished adroitly from close range in the opening stages of the second half to bring the visitors level before Mamadou Bagayoko struck to earn Nantes an ultimately futile victory.
St Etienne took the lead in fine fashion at home to Valenciennes when Araujo Ilan slid in to thump home a volley from Kevin Mirallas's right-wing cross and they made sure of victory thanks to Bafetimbi Gomis, who scored twice in the second period before laying on a goal for Mirallas.
Lyon, their record-breaking seven-year stint as French champions having come to an end, had already secured third place and a berth in the qualifying rounds of next season's Champions League prior to their 0-0 draw at Toulouse.
Lyon centre-back John Mensah saw red after two first-half bookings, the second for a rash sliding challenge on Ligue 1 top scorer Andre-Pierre Gignac, making it easier for the home side to collect the point that guaranteed fourth place and entry into next season's Europa League.
Lille will also compete in the re-branded UEFA Cup after a 3-2 victory at home to Nancy, who fought back to equalise after going 2-0 down, but Paris St-Germain's dreams of European football melted away in a disappointing goalless draw at home to Monaco.
PSG defender Sylvain Armand said their missing out on a berth in Europe had been a long time coming.
"It wasn't just tonight that we lost out on Europe. We gifted away too many games in the season. We weren't ready to go looking for a Champions league place."
In the night's other game, already-relegated Le Havre drew 0-0 at Nice.
Bordeaux took to the field at the Stade Michel-d'Ornano, where they had failed to win in nine previous attempts, with only suspended full-back Mathieu Chalme and injured midfielder Abdou Traore unavailable.
Gouffran spurned an early chance to settle Bordeaux's nerves when he fired straight at Vincent Plante in the Caen goal after haring onto a through ball from Jussie.
Visiting goalkeeper Ulrich Rame then clawed a near-post effort by Steve Savidan off his goal-line as Caen threated to poop the title party, before Brazilian midfielder Fernando saw a prodded attempt parried by Plante at the other end.
Gouffran registered the title-winning goal four minutes after half-time, heading home Benoit Tremoulinas's cross from the edge of the six-yard box, with Rame denying Sambou Yatabare late on to safeguard Bordeaux's moment in the sun.