Ligue 1: Dimitar Berbatov keeps Monaco push on track
Dimitar Berbatov kept Monaco`s Ligue 1 and European hopes on track Saturday with a 1-0 victory at Lille which kept the Principality side in touch with the leaders.
Monaco: Dimitar Berbatov kept Monaco`s Ligue 1 and European hopes on track Saturday with a 1-0 victory at Lille which kept the Principality side in touch with the leaders.
Last season`s Ligue 1 runners-up have now won 10 of their last 11 matches in all competitions to set themselves up as potential challengers for a first league title since 2000.
Leonardo Jardim`s side are fifth with 39 points from 22 games, six points behind leaders Lyon (45) who host Metz on Sunday.
Bulgarian striker Berbatov broke the deadlock after 57 minutes with a header off a Ferreira Carrasco free kick, to condemn Lille to a second straight defeat, and 12th spot with 27 points.
"It wasn`t a great match," admitted Monaco coach Jardim.
"We lacked mobility and aggressivity, but we won which is the most important thing and to stay in the top five. But if possible we have to climb three places."
Sixth-placed Montpellier notched up their third straight victory, a 4-0 win which brought Nantes back down to earth days after the southern Brittany outfit eliminated Lyon from the French Cup.
Montpellier built their attack around new recruits Paul Lasne (8), Kevin Berigaud (57), Lucas Barrios (78) and Anthony Mounier (82), who all scored goals, as Nantes drop to ninth place.
Bordeaux stay seventh after a goalless draw at Bastia, as Claudio Beauvue scored a double for Guingamp, in 12th, in a 3-2 win against Lorient, three spots below them.
On Friday, Nice, who played most of the second half with 10 men, downed Marseille 2-1 to compound an already trying week for the French giants and put an unexpected dent in their title aspirations.
Second half goals from Romain Genevois and Niklas Hult earned Nice the deserved bragging rights in a frenetic Mediterranean derby and left Marseille seeking their first win on the road in three months.
The loss kept them one point adrift of Lyon, who can extend their advantage when they take on fourth-from-bottom Metz. Nice moved up to eighth, on 31 points.
While Lyon are at Metz, champions Paris Saint-Germain, who knocked Bordeaux out of the French Cup midweek, face a tricky trip to St Etienne, sitting fourth just one place behind the Parisians.