PARIS, June 3 (Reuters) - Auxerre’s short Ligue 1 stay ended after a 3-1 defeat to Lens confirmed their relegation on the final day of the season on Saturday, while Stade Rennais sealed a Europa League place and Paris St Germain said an unhappy farewell to Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos.

Auxerre's loss, coupled with a 1-0 victory for Nantes at home to Angers, meant a return to the second tier after one season, and they join Troyes, Ajaccio and Angers through the Ligue 1 trap-door as the division is cut from 20 clubs to 18 in 2023-24.

Title winners PSG and Lens had already secured their places in the Champions League group stages next season going into the final weekend, while Olympique de Marseille knew they would enter in the third qualifying round.

Stade Rennais won 2-1 at Brest to secure European football for the sixth season in a row, but Lille's 1-1 draw at Troyes means they have to settle for the Conference League.

In the relegation scrap, Nantes led early in their must-win game as Ignatius Ganago rifled the ball into the roof of the net from eight yards.

That proved enough for survival on a nervous night as they extend their 10-year top-flight stay.

Auxerre knew victory against Lens would see them safe but those hopes were dealt a blow when Alexis Claude-Maurice put the visitors in front after poor defending opened up a shooting opportunity.

Claude-Maurice was gifted a second goal following an error from Auxerre goalkeeper Ionut Radu, who rushed out of his goal but failed to collect the ball, allowing the forward to make the score 2-0.

M'Baye Niang briefly gave Auxerre hope, but Lois Openda restored the two-goal cushion for Lens and sealed the home side's fate.

It was an emotional night in Paris where players from both sides paid tribute to PSG goalkeeper Sergio Rico, who remains in intensive care following a horse-riding accident in Spain last weekend.

PSG also confirmed before kick-off that Messi would not extend his two-season stay at the club beyond this campaign, making this his farewell to fans, some of who booed him through the game.

Ramos opened the score in what was also his final game for PSG, before Kylian Mbappe made it 2-0 from the penalty spot for his 29th goal of the season that secured him the Golden Boot.

Clermont, who had a Grejohn Kyei goal disallowed for handball when the score was 0-0, struck back through Johan Gastien, but the unfortunate Kyei then put a penalty wide.

Clermont did have their equaliser on the stroke of halftime though when the ball rebounded kindly to Mehdi Zeffane and he tapped home, before Kyei finally got his goal with a close-range finish just past the hour-mark.

The PSG players and technical team received the Ligue 1 trophy after the game but there were also loud boos from around the stadium for coach Christophe Galtier, who took charge of his 50th, and possibly last, fixture with the side.

Reporting by Nick Said; editing by Clare Fallon

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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