Nice win for Monaco
Last Updated: 20/04/14 4:48pm
Dimitar Berbatov celebrates after scoring the winner
Monaco ensured Paris St Germain would have to wait another week at least to claim the Ligue 1 title after Dimitar Berbatov's wonderfully impudent finish earned a 1-0 victory over Nice at the Stade Louis II.
Dimitar Berbatov's third goal since arriving in the principality gave the hosts their 21st win of the season and left their rivals needing two more wins from their final five games to guarantee back-to-back titles.
The first of those for the capital club is against Evian on Wednesday.
Claudio Ranieri's men got off to the perfect start on Sunday when Joao Moutinho benefited from some lapse defending to pick out Berbatov on the left of the area and the Bulgarian sent a seemingly effortless lob over David Ospina and into the far corner.
The hosts were inches away from doubling their lead minutes later, but Valere Germain saw his decent effort come back off the left upright before Berbatov saw his follow-up kept out by a combination of Claude Puel and Ospina.
Moutinho was the next to test the Nice goalkeeper as he tried his luck direct from a 25-yard free-kick, but the Colombian was equal to it.
Nice had a rare foray forward after 20 minutes, but Daniel Subasic turned Valentin Eysseric's effort around a post before Monaco went close at the other end, Germain's header from James Rodriguez's free-kick gathered by Ospina.
The visitors' best chance of the first half came just before the interval when Jeremy Pied did well to beat his man before picking out Eysseric but his control and shot was kept out by Subasic.
The second half was a less open affair, but Nice stepped up their game in an effort to find a leveller.
Dario Cvitanich forced Subasic into another save low down at his near post after the Argentinian intercepted Aymen Abdennour's pass before, from the resulting corner, the Monaco keeper kept out Mathieu Bodmer's header amid claims for a handball against Mounir Obbadi.
At the other end, Obbadi had the chance to wrap up all three points with less than 10 minutes to play, but, after combining well with Berbatov, the Moroccan fired over Ospina's bar.
French Ligue 1
|2||Paris St Germain||18||37|
|16||Evian Thonon Gaillar||17||19|