Monaco coach Jardim staying cautious amid title euphoria

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MONACO (AP) Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim has a message for anyone else thinking of sending him a celebratory text about the French title: Don’t bother.

Monaco closed in on the title after beating Lille 4-0 on Sunday, putting it three points ahead of Paris Saint-Germain with a goal difference that is plus-17 better and a game in hand. Monaco has to lose its next two games by large margins for PSG to stand even a remote chance.

“Those who sent me a message of congratulations yesterday are still waiting for me to answer,” Jardim said Monday. “Our objective is to prepare the team properly and to steer clear of euphoria.”

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A point on Wednesday at home against Saint-Etienne, however, would guarantee the title and should have Jardim smiling at last.

Although a dramatic collapse in the next two matches is highly unlikely, Jardim remains ultra-cautious, pointing to the way Barcelona made history by routing PSG 6-1 to reverse a 4-0 first-leg deficit in the last 16 of the Champions League.

“Experience tells you to keep a cool head. Anything’s possible in soccer. Look at Barcelona’s comeback,” Jardim said. “We’ve worked 11 months for this title, now’s not the time to start easing up.”

Free-scoring Monaco has scored 102 league goals – equaling PSG’s tally from last season – and 153 in all competitions.