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Monaco lifts Ligue 1 title

NC Sports Desk

LONDON: Teenage star Kylian Mbappe helped Monaco secure their first Ligue 1 title in 17 years with his 15th goal of the season in Wednesday’s 2-0 victory at home to Saint-Etienne. The 18-year-old raced clear of the visiting defence to nervelessly roll in the opening goal after 19 minutes at the Stade Louis II as Paris Saint-Germain’s four-year reign as French champions came to an end. Valere Germain added a second with the final kick of the match. Leonardo Jardim’s side were effectively guaranteed the title after Sunday’s 4-0 win over Lille due to their vastly superior goal difference and needed just a point to secure an eighth league crown. Monaco’s 11th straight victory bumped them up to 92 points, six ahead of PSG, and they can match the capital club’s single-season record of 30 wins in Saturday’s final game at Rennes. Not since Claude Puel guided a squad featuring Fabien Barthez, David Trezeguet and Willy Sagnol to the 1999-2000 title had Monaco been crowned kings of France. Saint-Etienne held Monaco to a 1-1 draw in October, but Christophe Galtier’s side arrived in the principality low on confidence after their 5-0 thrashing by PSG and decimated by injury. Stephane Ruffier palmed away a Mbappe snapshot with the first real chance, but there was little he could do moments later when the striker latched onto Radamel Falcao’s threaded pass and calmly rounded the Saint-Etienne goalkeeper before slotting home. Saint-Etienne youngster Arnaud Nordin charged through the left-hand side of the Monaco defence after setting off from inside his own half, but his final effort lacked the pace to trouble Subasic.

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