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AS Monaco have clinched the 2016-17 Ligue 1 title following their 2-0 win over Saint-Etienne at the Stade Louis II on Wednesday.
This was Monaco’s game in hand over nearest rivals Paris Saint-Germain, meaning manager Leonardo Jardim’s side has an insurmountable six-point lead at the summit of the table with one game to play.
Their title triumph was confirmed by B/R Football:
B/R Football @brfootball
Monaco are champions of Ligue 1! 🏆 https://t.co/Wg3l66CHHv
5/17/2017, 8:52:39 PM
Goals from precocious forward Kylian Mbappe and Valerie Germain wrapped up the title for Monaco. Mbappe has symbolised the attacking mentality and youth-driven make-up of this team with his record-setting form, per Squawka Football:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Kylian Mbappé is the youngest player this century to score 15 goals in a single season in Europe’s top 5 leagues.
18 years & 147 days old 🌟 https://t.co/bVr1PpoTDk
5/17/2017, 7:25:18 PM
The way Monaco have won the title as the great entertainers means this team is sure to be remembered well, per Goal’s Robin Bairner: “Neutrals have fallen in love with Leonardo Jardim’s free-flowing attacking football which has produced an incredible 103 goals in 37 games – the third-best tally ever achieved in a top-flight French campaign and the best since 1960.”
Their free-scoring exploits powered this title win, per OptaJean:
31 – Monaco have scored in their last 31 games in Ligue 1, best run for a team during a single L1 season. Hitmen. https://t.co/udz0pQL9wP
5/17/2017, 7:24:20 PM
It is the eighth time in the club’s history that they’ve won the championship; their last title win came 17 years ago, in the 1999-2000 season.
Monaco’s remarkable achievement also puts an end to PSG’s longstanding dominance of Ligue 1. The capital club have finished top of the pile for the previous four seasons in succession.
Despite being backed by their own loaded owner, Monaco have been applauded for topping cash-rich PSG wilth less resources, per the Guardian‘s Adam White and Eric Devin: “The size of Monaco’s achievement should not be understated. Yes, they too have a billionaire owner and the resources to recruit and hone outstanding players, but their operating budget is still roughly a third of Paris Saint-Germain’s.”
At the start of the season, few would have backed Monaco to go on and win the title. But throughout 2016-17, we’ve witnessed the evolution of one of the most exciting young teams European football has seen for many years.
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While Jardim was previously renowned as a defensive coach, Monaco have been scoring goals for fun this term, with 104 netted from their 37 games in the top flight.
The team is packed with entertaining operators. Full-backs Djibril Sidibe and Benjamin Mendy have raided forward at every opportunity, while the all-action Fabinho and dominant Tiemoue Bakayoko have bossed many a midfield battle.
It’s in the final third where they’ve really excelled, though. On the flanks, Thomas Lemar and Bernardo Silva bring so much guile and variety to the team’s attacking play, while up top, veteran Radamel Falcao has rediscovered his predatory instincts alongside rising star Mbappe.
Indeed, of all the incredible talent in this Monaco team, it’s Mbappe, just 18, who is the most exciting prospect:
There have been some memorable matches for the new champions on their way to top spot, including a 3-1 win over PSG in August. Monaco also won 7-0 at Metz in October before hammering Montpellier 6-2 later that month and swatting aside Nancy 6-0 in November.
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A 4-1 win at Marseille in January pointed to a team with championship credentials, while a draw at PSG and a triumph over Nice in back-to-back games kept their pursuers at bay.
Aside from their domestic success, Monaco also excelled in the UEFA Champions League, progressing to the semi-finals with some swashbuckling displays. They were eventually eliminated by Juventus over two legs by a 4-1 aggregate scoreline.