Former Manchester United and Spurs forward Dimitar Berbatov continued his excellent form in Ligue 1 on Saturday, the centre-forward scored twice and set up another in the 4-1 win away against AC Ajaccio. The 33-year-old now has five league goals since joining in January.
Monaco had to win to keep the pressure on Paris Saint-Germain, anything but a win would have all but handed the Parisians the title. Ajaccio were relegated last weekend and have nothing but pride to play for.
The home side held strong and kept Monaco out during a tight first-half. It was only a matter of time though and Berbatov opened the scoring on the 53rd minute.
Monaco won a corner on the left, it was played short then back to Portuguese midfielder, Joao Moutinho, and his wonderful cross was met perfectly by the big Bulgarian. He didn’t have to leave the ground before guiding his header past Guillermo Ochoa.
The second came 15 minutes before the end. Emmanuel Rivière made a bursting run down the right and he cut it back for midfielder James Rodriguez. The Colombian timed the pass to perfection, finding the run of Berbatov. The forward was inches onside and completely unmarked inside the box, he seemed to pause for an age before passing it beyond Ochoa for his and Monaco’s second.
Ajaccio pulled one back after Junior Tallo converted Paul Lasne’s low cross, but it was then Berbatov’s turn to play the role of provider and end the game as a contest. Looking across the box, he laid the ball off for French international, Geoffrey Kondogbia, and he met the ball perfectly, firing his left-foot shot deep into the corner of Ochoa’s net. It was a wonderful finish from the young talent, another step towards his ascendency in the Monaco ranks.
Argentine winger Lucas Ocampos wrapped up the 4-1 win with nearly the last touch of the game. A dominant performance from the Monegasque side. The win reduces the gap to seven points at the top, but PSG can seal the title on Sunday afternoon.
Can Berbatov fire Monaco to glory next season?