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Monaco celebrates title with 12th straight win; PSG held 1-1

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PARIS (AP) Monaco celebrated its French league title by beating Rennes 3-2 for a 12th straight win on Saturday, finishing the season eight points clear of deposed champion Paris Saint-Germain.

[ MORE: Real Madrid is one point away from claiming La Liga title ]

Monaco sealed the title midweek and its players spray-dyed their hair in the club’s colors to celebrate.

[ MORE: Roma closes Serie A gap to one point ]

Monaco scored in its last 32 league games to set a single-season record. It scored 107 league goals – five more than PSG’s total last season – and 158 overall.

PSG conceded an injury-time equalizer in a 1-1 home draw with Caen. The result was priceless for the visitors, ensuring survival in a tense relegation fight. Bastia and Nancy were relegated and 18th-placed Lorient faces a playoff against the third-placed team from division two.

Lorient was moments away from staying up until Ronny Rodelin swept in a 91st-minute equalizer for Caen, having earlier missed a penalty. Caen also had a goal controversially disallowed, and when Rodelin did finally score, his goal set off scenes of wild delight.

Marseille striker Bafetimbi Gomis scored his 20th league goal to ensure fifth place for Marseille and a spot in the Europa League, while relegating Bastia.

RENNES 2, MONACO 3

Brazilian players Fabinho, Jemerson, and Jorge scored for Monaco, which always led, and Adama Diakhaby pulled two back for the home side.

PSG 1, CAEN 1

Midfielder Adrien Rabiot put PSG ahead early but striker Edinson Cavani failed to improve on his league-leading 35 goals.

With three minutes to go, Caen midfielder Julien Feret thought he scored but the goal was ruled out because one of his teammate’s was adjudged to be offside. But Caen coach Patrice Garande was dancing with delight when Rodelin atoned for a penalty miss to keep Caen in the top flight.

LYON 3, NICE 3

Top scorer Alexandre Lacazette bid the perfect farewell to Lyon, scoring twice to break his own record and reach 100 league goals for the club.

Lacazette came through the youth ranks and made his debut eight years ago. He is leaving, possibly to Atletico Madrid.

Lyon took the lead in the 10th minute when Nice defender Maxime Le Marchand inadvertently turned in forward Memphis Depay‘s shot.

Greek striker Anastasios Donis equalized five minutes later after being set up by midfielder Vincent Koziello.

Third-placed Nice salvaged a point with the last kick when midfielder Jean-Michael Seri coolly scored a penalty.

OTHER MATCHES

Lorient gave itself a chance of staying up after drawing with Bordeaux 1-1, and meets third-placed Troyes from the second division in a two-way playoff. A defeat would have relegated Lorient and put Nancy into the playoff on goal difference.

Dijon also ensured its safety with a 0-0 draw at Toulouse, and finished in 16th place, ahead of 17th-placed Caen on goal difference.

Nancy’s 3-1 home win against Saint-Etienne proved to be in vain.

Striker Nicolas De Preville scored a hat trick as Lille beat Nantes 3-0; Angers won against visiting Montpellier 2-0, and Guingamp beat Metz 1-0.

Mourinho on Conte feud, facing Chelsea again

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Jose Mourinho will meet Chelsea once again on Sunday as the Manchester United manager welcomes his former club to Old Trafford (Watch live, 9:05 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Mourinho, 55, has been involved in a public spat with Antonio Conte in recent months but the Portuguese refused to dredge up any more abuse for the current Chelsea manager ahead of this crucial top four clash.

The duo traded insults earlier this year as Mourinho suggested Conte and other managerial rivals “acted like clowns” on the sidelines, while Conte said Mourinho perhaps had “demenza senile” and Mourinho hit back with a quip about Conte’s four-month ban for not reporting alleged match-fixing in Italy. The spat ended when Conte said Mourinho was a “little man” and “fake” and said he would not forget the comments.

“The real meaning [of this game] is two of the best teams in England, two of the biggest clubs, are playing a match,” Mourinho said when asked about Conte.

Mourinho has lost three of the four games he’s played against Chelsea since he became United’s manager and in the first defeat, a 4-0 hammering in the league in October 2016, he reacted angrily to overzealous celebrations from Conte on the sidelines.

Speaking to the media about Chelsea, Mourinho played down any sentimental feelings he has for the club he led to three Premier League titles over two spells in charge.

“To play against Chelsea will mean less and less and less with the years,” Mourinho said. “So of course I left already a couple of years ago, and next season [it will be] three years ago, so step by step that feeling of: ‘I was the Chelsea manager’ or ‘I was their manager’ for them I think disappears. I have a good relation with the [Chelsea] board.

“I don’t forget how nice they were to me in a difficult period with the departure of my father. They show me in that moment they feel me as a friend that did his best for the club and always respects the club. So the board know the relation with me is always good. With the players, I don’t have any problem, any regret, any stone on my shoes, no problem at all. And the fans are fans. With many of them in the street I feel that empathy and that relation that normally should be a connection and feeling forever. When I play at Stamford Bridge some reactions from the fans are just reactions.”

Mourinho is still admired and thanked by the vast majority of Chelsea’s fanbase but there is always going to be a small contingent who hurl abuse at Mourinho simply because he isn’t their manager anymore.

Since he was fired as their boss in December 2015, the “Special One” has been complimentary of his time at Chelsea but when he managed United in 2016 at Stamford Bridge, he wasn’t subjected to chants of “you’re not special anymore!” from the home fans, to which he held up three fingers to signify how many league titles he delivered.

Mourinho isn’t talking about his spat with Conte ahead of this game, but let’s see how things play out on Sunday. If Chelsea stroll into Old Trafford and win to throw United’s top four hopes into doubt, Mourinho will likely come out swinging.

Watch Live: Leicester City v. Stoke City

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Leicester City host Stoke City on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com) at the King Power Stadium.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

Leicester currently sit in eighth place in the Premier League table and have one eye on finishing in the top six, while Stoke are second from bottom in the table but are just six points from the top 10.

In team news Leicester start Riyad Mahrez with Demarai Gray and Marc Albrighton in an attacking lineup, while Stoke bring in USMNT man Geoff Cameron in midfield with Stafyldis and Martins Indi coming into defense.

LINEUPS

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Simpson, Maguire, Morgan, Chilwell, Ndidi, James, Mahrez, Albrighton, Gray, Vardy. Subs: Jakupovic, Dragovic, Fuchs, Iborra, Silva, Diabate, Iheanacho.

Stoke City: Butland; Bauer, Martins Indi, Zouma, Stafyldis; Cameron, Badou, Allen; Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting; Diouf. Subs: Grant, Pieters, Jese, Johnson, Adam, Ramadan, Campbell

“This game belongs to the players” Wenger downplays Guardiola success

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Arsene Wenger has stressed that Pep Guardiola has not changed the game of soccer over the last decade or so, maintaining that the players are the ones who make a team truly great.

Asked if Guardiola has “raised the bar” of managing in his time at the top, Wenger said, “No, because you look at Barcelona and they are still the best team in Europe. You have to accept that the modern game has changed with the recruitment of the best players in a short number of clubs.”

[ MORE: EFL Cup final preview ]

“We, as managers, can maybe impart our philosophy but this game belongs to the players because the importance of the players has become bigger than ever before.”

In fact, Wenger showed a twinge of jealousy at all the attention Guardiola is getting with the team blowing out the rest of the Premier League this season, referencing trophies in the recent past Arsenal has hoisted. “We are maybe underdogs but we have to believe in our quality. The history, the fact we have done it before, shows why not do it again?”

“At the end of the day, you have to be cool,” Wenger said, “because Manchester City is dominating the league in the head of everybody and so maybe we are more underdogs than in the FA Cup semi-final [last season when Arsenal beat Man City].”

Deportivo wastes penalty kick, remains winless under Seedorf

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MADRID (AP) — Clarence Seedorf remained winless as Deportivo La Coruna coach after a 0-0 draw with Espanyol in the Spanish league on Friday.

Deportivo squandered chances including a second-half penalty kick taken by Lucas Perez. Its winless streak reached 10 games in all competitions.

It was the third game in a row without a victory since Seedorf took over to try to avoid relegation. Deportivo was 18th in the 20-team standings, in the relegation zone.

In addition to the missed penalty, Deportivo twice hit the posts in front of a supportive crowd at Riazor Stadium. The players left the field applauded by the local fans despite the setback.

Perez’s penalty attempt was saved by Espanyol goalkeeper Diego Lopez in the 65th minute. Lopez, who earlier this season stopped a penalty taken by Lionel Messi, dived to his right to stop Perez’s low shot.

The match marked the Deportivo debut of veteran Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari. He played alongside Seedorf at AC Milan, and was signed this week after a trial period.

Espanyol, 15th in the standings, hasn’t won in seven matches, since it ended Barcelona’s 29-match unbeaten streak in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals. Espanyol’s last league win was in January, seven rounds ago.

Barcelona defends its seven-point lead in the standings when it hosts Girona on Saturday. Second-place Atletico Madrid visits Sevilla on Sunday.