AS Monaco beat St-Etienne with goals from Mbappé and Germain to seal their eighth French league title! Simply magnificent!
Keen to officially secure the title in double quick time, the Red & Whites created the first chance of the game inside two minutes, Glik getting his head to Moutinho’s corner and bringing a save from Ruffier. That was all it took to stoke the atmosphere, with the crowd already fired up for this final home game of a tremendous season. As the chants rang out around a Louis-II in party mode, Mbappé drew another stop from Ruffier with a powerful effort, the former Monegasque ‘keeper setting himself well to push the ball clear of danger (17 mins). He was powerless to stop the home side opening the scoring a minute later, however, when Moutinho sent Mbappé running clean through. The revelation of the Ligue 1 season outpaced the Saint-Etienne defence, rounded the ‘keeper with a deft feint and slotted the ball into the empty net to put Monaco in front and unleash a wave of joy around the stadium.
OVATION FROM THE LOUIS-II
Just after the half hour mark, the goalscorer looked to turn provider, darting into space down the right and crossing for Falcao, who was blocked by a Saint-Etienne defender. Pogba saw a header saved by Subasic in the 34th minute, and the Croatian goalkeeper then came out of his goal to deny Soderlund, but AS Monaco were well on top in this first half. Shortly before the break, Silva delivered a promising cross from the right wing. Falcao was well placed to get on the end of it, but missed the ball by a matter of inches. When Mr Turpin blew for half-time, the Red & Whites were within touching distance of the title and left the field to an ovation from the supporters.
HUNGRY TO THE END
Though the job was effectively done, Leonardo Jardim’s men were not content to relax and continued to attack after the break. Falcao had the first effort of the second half in the 47th minute, but his long-range shot sailed over the bar. St-Étienne responded through Nordin, who went on a lengthy run deep into Monegasque territory, only for Subasic to get down well and collect the ball at the second attempt. Veretout then got free, but was caught up by the masterful Glik. Chants of “Glik, Glik, Glik” came from the stands, a worthy tribute to the Polish defender who has had a wonderful season. In the 68th minute, Silva was replaced by Germain and came off to warm applause.
GERMAIN HAS THE LAST WORD
Valère Germain wasted little time getting into the action, finding himself on the end of Mbappé’s cross from the right of the box, but slotting wide with the goal gaping. The n°18 was aghast, but instead of groaning, the fans started a Mexican wave that made several laps of the stadium! In the dying minutes, Falcao and Mbappé came off to be replaced by Carrillo and Raggi, to huge acclaim from the admiring supporters. The match ended in symbolic fashion, as from the very last chance of the night, Lemar got free in the St-Etienne box, drew Ruffier and set up Germain for a simple easy finish to seal the championship in style. While the Louis-II celebrated their team’s 104th goal of the campaign the final whistle went, triggering scenes of unbridled joy as AS Monaco began celebrating their richly deserved league title. What an unforgettable season it’s been! Thank you gentlemen, and Daghe Munegu!