For the first time in 17 years, AS Monaco are the champions of Ligue 1, defeating Saint-Etienne 2-0 on Wednesday to clinch the crown and end PSG’s four-year reign at the top of the division.
Teenage sensation, Kylian Mbappé, who was 17 months old when the principality club last won the league, scored his 15th league goal of the season in the 19th minute to get the party started at the Stade Louis II. Valère Germain added the icing on the cake with the last kick of the game to cap off the game and a remarkable season for the club.
Also semi-finalists in this season’s Champions League and reaching the Coupe De La Ligue final where they were bettered by PSG, Monaco became Europe’s most exciting team. They’ve scored 104 goals, the most in Europe’s top five leagues and most in Ligue 1 since the league went to a 20-team format in 2002. During their Champions League run, they defeated Tottenham, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund along the way before Juventus stopped them in their tracks.
— CHAMPION 🏆 (@AS_Monaco) May 17, 2017
This league title, the eighth in Monaco’s history, culminates a turnaround for a club that facing relegation from the second tier in 2011 when they were bought by controversial Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlev. Monaco returned to Ligue 1 within two years thanks to the charges of Claudio Ranieri. Survivors from the Ligue 2 squad include Nabil Dirar, Andrea Raggi and the aforementioned Germain.
After finishing second upon their top flight return in 2013/14 a spending spree upon their return which saw them bring in the likes of now captain, Radamel Falcao, João Moutinho and James Rodríguez, Monaco altered its course, firing Ranieri and appointing Leonardo Jardim as manager. The Venezuelan-born boss opted for a youth movement, focusing on the club’s academy while collecting some of the game’s most talented youngsters who were key pieces of this season’s team such as Bernardo Silva, Thomas Lemar and Tiemoué Bakayoko.
Tremendous to think that Monaco, not geographically situated in France, have won Ligue 1 two more times than the capital’s biggest club PSG.
— Get French Football (@GFFN) May 17, 2017
Monaco win Ligue 1 for the first time since the 1999/2000 season – 17 years ago! 🏆
They have 13 players aged 23 and under in their squad. 👏 pic.twitter.com/8EjU86qJQ1
— 8 Fact Football (@8Fact_Footballl) May 17, 2017
Monaco concludes its season with a trip to Rennes on Saturday.