It was just a formality, after all. AS Monaco have finished top of France’s Ligue 1 after winning at home against Saint Etienne 2-0.
For diehard fans, it wasn’t just important to come top, but to deprive archrivals Paris Saint-Germain of a spot they had started to see as theirs by right. The Saint Etienne match was a sell-out at Stade Louis II and ticket outlets were closed on match day.
Monaco have played 37 games, with just one left in the current Ligue 1 season, away to Stade Rennais on May 20. But they are so far ahead of PSG, that the celebrations can start in earnest. PSG has finished in second place in Ligue 1, ahead of third-placed Nice, trailing PSG by nine points.
It’s not only the goals that have put the Principality’s footballers so far ahead of the pack, despite the disappointment of not beating Italian giants Juventus in the Champions League.
Monaco’s young players, Mbappe in particular, have repaid many times over the faith placed in them by coach Leonardo Jardim and have come to characterise the team as one that is prepared to take risks, and reap the rewards.
A timely reminder was Mbappe’s goal in the 18th minute in Wednesday’s game, and it looked like it would be the only one in the game, which was far from one-sided. Statistically, AS Monaco were far ahead, with almost 65 percent possession. But at the end of the evening, that was not the most important number for the Monaco fans. Monaco are Number1! Germain’s 90-minute goal was icing on the cake. (Feature photo: Facebook AS Monaco)
Article first published May 17, 2017.