The fall of Monaco: From Champions League semi-finals to brink of relegation

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Monaco avoided relegation last season by one place and two pointsA little over two years ago, Monaco were the darlings of Europe, a poster club for excellent recruitment, alluring counter-attacking football and savvy use of the transfer market.Their peak came in 2016-17 when they earned effusive praise for reaching the Champions League semi-finals. Their rapid decline since then has been astonishing, a heavy fall from glory to ignominy.Having used the benefits of billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev’s wealth to gain promotion back to the top flight in 2012-13, Monaco finished in the top five for five seasons in a row.In the year they reached the last four of Europe’s major club competition, they also comfortably held off Paris St-Germain to win the Ligue 1 title – the only season in the past seven that PSG have failed to finish a campaign as French champions.But the good times did not last. There were signs of decline in 2017-18, but last season Monaco won on the opening day and then managed two more league victories until February. Their first home league win came on 2 February and they survived relegation by one place and two points. Their Champions League nadir was a 4-0 home defeat by Club Bruges; they finished with a solitary point in the group stage.Between 2013-14 and 2017-18, Monaco won 60% of their league matches. In the final two seasons of that period, they won 71%. Since then, their win percentage is 22%. Title challengers have become relegation candidates, European ambitions extinguished.Right strategy, wrong execution?

Monaco knocked Manchester City out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage on away goals in 2016-17 after a thrilling two-legged tie ended 6-6 on aggregateTo the uninitiated, there is an obvious expl

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