Still closes in on Vilanova record while Balogun scores again for Reims
Reims are flying under head coach Will Still and remain undefeated in Ligue 1 since the Belgian-born Englishman took charge in October.
A goal from Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun sealed a 1-0 win at Monaco on Sunday, taking Reims into eighth place and closer to European qualification.
Still is only the second boss to remain unbeaten in his first 17 games (W9 D8) in the top-five European leagues in the 21st century, after Tito Vilanova with Barcelona in 2012-13 (18).
The 30-year-old is astonishingly costing the French club €25,000 per game in fines due to not having a UEFA Pro Licence under Ligue 1 rules.
It is clearly worth it, though, with Reims having kept six consecutive clean sheets in the league, establishing their longest run without conceding a goal in their top-flight history. Only Serie A giants Juventus have had a better streak in the top-five European leagues this season (eight between October 2022 and January 2023).
Les Rouges et Blancs have also won three consecutive games in a single top-flight season for the first time since April 1978, while their 10 games unbeaten away from home in Ligue 1 (W2 D8) is their longest since May-December 1959 (13).
Still is not the only Englishman impressing at the club, with Balogun’s goal against Monaco taking him to 16 in 26 league games for the season.
Aged 21 years and 252 days, Balogun became the youngest player to score at least 16 goals in his first season in Ligue 1 since Mohammed Salem with Sedan-Torcy in 1960-61.
The England Under-21 international is also the only player to score against each of the top five in Ligue 1 this season, having netted against Paris Saint-Germain, Marseille, Lens, Monaco and Rennes (twice).
Still has the chance to match Vilanova’s record when his team host Marseille next Sunday.
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