Last season, Laurent Blanc’s all-conquering side became the most dominant team in French football history, winning the domestic treble of Ligue 1, Coupe de France and Couple de la Ligue for the very first time.
And in 2015-16 they have done the almost unthinkable: they have improved further. Still in all three competitions and eyeing up an eminently winnable Champions League last-16 tie against Chelsea, the first leg of which takes place in Paris on February 16, PSG are currently taking apart Ligue 1 at an astonishing rate.
With 20 wins and three draws from their 23 league games so far this season, Blanc’s men have opened up a chasmic 21-point lead over their nearest challengers, Monaco, who have even played 24 matches.
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What is more, their unbeaten league run now extends to 32 games – stretching back to March 2015 – drawing level with the record established by Nantes in 1995. They could, and almost certainly will, set a new mark for French football when taking on Lorient at home on Wednesday night.
Nantes lost only one of their 38 games in Ligue 1 in the 1994-95 season – the closest a French team has ever gone to enjoying an unbeaten season. But such is PSG’s utter dominance of the division, it is a record which could well fall in 2015-16.

Paris St-Germain's Angel Di Maria (R) controls the ball in front of St-Etienne's Jean-Christophe Bahebeck

Image credit: Reuters

The expert view

Is this astonishing period of PSG success good news for French football? We asked Maxime Dupuis from our Paris office to give us his expert analysis.
Are PSG good for French football?
They are. But a bit too good. They have become too strong and everyone is afraid of them, playing without even trying to beat them. Saint-Etienne were a rare exception at the weekend and Marseille, sometimes…
How are they perceived in France?
For the moment, I must admit that everybody has found it astonishing. They are beating all the records and yet it is other clubs that are being criticised, like Lyon, Marseille and Monaco. They are far from their best. PSG have never been so strong and the rest have never been so bad.
When PSG play in Europe, do French people (not their fans) want them to win?
Yes, I think that’s the case. Except die-hard fans of others clubs such as Marseille. Even if the number of neutrals supporting them decreases every day.
How does this period of dominance compare with Lyon from 2001-2008?
Lyon were strong, but not this strong. And the difference is that Lyon bought the best players from the other French teams. At the time, people thought that their success helped the rest with money trickling down. Which was an error. They were alone on planet Earth. Like PSG today. Except PSG are on planet Mars.

Vieira - Pires - Henry - Cole (Arsenal)

Image credit: AFP

How does PSG’s run compare historically?

Going 33 league games unbeaten would be quite a feat, but in European terms it would be far from the best invincible run in the continent’s top leagues.
Spain – 38 matches (Real Sociedad, 1979-1980)
It comes as a surprise, given the recent duopoly enjoyed by Barcelona and Real Madrid, that Real Sociedad possess the longest unbeaten league run in Liga history. What is even more surprising is that it did not deliver them a league title. Sociedad were still without a defeat heading into the penultimate fixture of the season but lost 2-1 away at Sevilla to bring their run to a close, and hand the title to Real Madrid. Los Merengues took the title by a single point, even though they had lost two more games than their desperately unlucky Basque opponents, whose 14 drawn matches proved critical to their title hopes.
England – 49 matches (Arsenal, 2003-2004)
An unlikely Jermaine Pennant hat-trick on the penultimate day of the 2002-03 season helped kickstart the greatest run in English football history. Arsenal subsequently went the entire 2003-04 season unbeaten, surpassing the record of 42 established by Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest, and were finally brought back down to earth in a controversial clash at Manchester United In October 2004.

Bayern Munich's Philipp Lahm, Thomas Mueller, Toni Kroos (on top) and Mario Mandzukic (L-R) celebrate Mueller's goal against Manchester United during their Champions League quarter-final second leg soccer match in Munich, April 9, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffe

Image credit: Eurosport

Germany – 53 matches (Bayern Munich, 2012-2014)
It was an unfitting end to an imperious period of dominance spanning two coaches. Lowly Augsburg were the unlikely party poopers in April 2014, ending Bayern’s record Bundesliga run. Pep Guardiola had carried on the work of his predecessor, Jupp Heynckes, who started Bayern off on their unbeaten streak in the first half of the 2012-13 campaign. Heynckes delivered a historic treble that season before handing over to the Catalan.
Italy – 58 matches (AC Milan, 1991-93)
Arrigo Sacchi established Milan as Europe’s best team with back-to-back wins in the European Cup in 1989 and 1990 but it was Fabio Capello who capitalised on this success with a remarkable run with delivered three league titles in 1992, 1993 and 1994, and the Champions League in 1994. Their finest Serie A season saw them go undefeated in 1991-92.

And they’ve got a long way to go to match Europe’s best ever

Incredibly, the record for Europe’s longest unbeaten league run is 106, set by Romanian club Steaua Bucharest between 1986 and 1989. They secured five successive league titles until 1990. So PSG aren’t even a third of the way to the most enduring invincibles.
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22/07/2021 AT 21:24