Berbatov scores to send Monaco through in French Cup

12 February 2014 11:01

Dimitar Berbatov scored an extra time winner to send Monaco through to the last eight of the French Cup as his new side beat 10-man Nice 1-0 on Wednesday and keep alive their hopes of the domestic double this season.

The former Fulham forward's goal - his first since moving to Monaco last month - came in the 113th minute of a turgid affair at Nice's Allianz Riviera ground.

The 33-year-old Bulgarian met a speculative cross from teammate Lucas Ocampos to divert the ball into the net from five yards out with Nice's keeper Mouez Hassen well-beaten.

Berbatov had come on as a second-half substitute, to make only his second appearance for the Monegasques, who currently lie second in France's Ligue 1 five points adrift of defending champions Paris Saint Germain.

It was a game of few chances and little excitement with neither side looking like winning until Berbatov pounced.

After a dull first half with few clear opportunities for either side, the game burst into life straight after the break, with the dismissal of Nice's Timothee Kolodziejkczak.

He was adjudged to have hit Monaco defender Ricardo Carvalho and was promptly sent off, but obviously aggrieved by the decision he took several moments to leave the pitch.

Monaco came closest to breaking the deadlock on the hour mark when a header from Ocampos flashed narrowly wide of the left upright.

But it was 10-man Nice who should have scored when Mathieu Bodmer seized on a loose ball from a corner just seven yards from goal in the 76th minute but his flick was well-saved by Monaco's goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

Both sides had made several changes from their weekend Ligue 1 fixtures.

Nice brought in Hassen and Jeremy Pied from the team which lost 2-1 at Valenciennes at the weekend, while Monaco boss Claudio Ranieri, who admitted before the game that the Cup was not his priority this season, made four changes from the side which drew 1-1 with Paris Saint-German on Sunday.

In Wednesday's other results, Rennes won 1-0 at Auxerre, Guingamp beat L'Ile Rousse 2-0 and amateur side Moulins from France's fourth tier beat Sete 3-1 to head into the quarter-finals.

Lyon, the 2012 winners, and Lens play each other on Thursday for the final place in the quarter-finals.

Source: AFP

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