Ranieri: Title was always PSG's to lose

The Italian coach insists that les Rouge et Blanc never had any chance of getting the better of the reigning champion.
Monaco boss Claudio Ranieri has played down the significance of Saturday's 2-0 loss at Saint-Etienne, claiming that Paris Saint-Germain was always going to win this season's Ligue 1 title.

Les Rouge et Blanc are still only five points behind Laurent Blanc's men, but the table-toppers can move eight points clear by winning their game in hand at home to Olympique de Marseille on Sunday night.

Ranieri freely admits that Monaco has no hope of overhauling PSG - but he insists that it was always on the cards for the club to defend its title.

"We haven't lost the title because we lost this game," the 62-year-old Italian told journalists after his side's defeat at the Geoffroy-Guichard. "We needed to be at 130 percent to take the title and it's not possible. The title was promised to PSG before the season started and hasn't been lost now.

"We suffered from kickoff and at halftime I decided to play with two wingers and James [Rodriguez] centrally. We blocked our opponents but nothing more. We had two chances at the start of the second half and that was that."

Midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia also conceded that Monaco had not deserved anything out of the trip to Saint-Etienne.

"We had an off day," the France international confessed. "We're disappointed by our performance and the result."

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