PARIS: On the night Monaco clinched their first French league title for 17 years, it was fitting that rising star Kylian Mbappe scored a superb goal.
The teenager, who has taken just six months to become one of Europe’s most sought-after players, scored the opener in a 2-0 win over Saint-Etienne on Wednesday.
Mbappe scored his 15th league goal this season with his first chance of the game after Saint-Etienne midfielder Jordan Veretout gave the ball away near the halfway line. The 18-year-old striker was set up by Falcao’s through ball and rounded goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier with a feigned shot at full speed before finishing from a tight angle.
Substitute Valere Germain completed the win in added time.
With one match left to play this weekend, Monaco have an unassailable six-point lead over second-place Paris Saint-Germain, the defending champions.
Despite losing to Juventus in the Champions League semifinals, Monaco have thrilled Europe with their attacking football, scoring 155 goals in all competitions and reaching 104 in the league, two more than PSG’s league tally last year.
Only RC Paris (118) and Stade de Reims (109) have scored more, during the 1959-60 season. Led by the strike duo of Radamel Falcao and Mbappe, Monaco averaged nearly three goals per game this season to end PSG’s four-year dominance.
Unbeaten in the league in 2017, Monaco have also scored in their last 31 league games, a new record during a single season.
“Monaco waited 17 years for this title, this is exceptional, a true source of pride,” Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev said. “We played in the second division four years ago. I did not believe we would achieve this in such a short period. We will do everything we can to keep our players.”
Only Saint-Etienne (10) and Marseille (9) have won more league titles than Monaco in France.