An incredible goal from Berbatov
In a magnificent derby atmosphere, the match began with a moment of inspiration. With five minutes gone, Moutinho found Berbatov on the left, inside the Nice penalty box. From the tightest of angles, the Bulgarian striker produced a majestic outside of the right foot chip to lob the ball over Ospina and open the scoring! Spectacular! From a similar position a minute later, Berbatov saw his volley fly just wide. Les Niçois were completely overrun and in the 12th minute, Germain broke free. His powerful shot came back off the post. He headed the rebound into the path of Berbatov who acrobatic volley was blocked by Puel.
Nice's first opportunity came in the 21st minute and it took a brilliant Subasic save to keep out Eysseric's missile. As the half-hour approached, the intensity lessened. Moutinho fired off target (27'), Germain's header was blocked by Ospina (30') and a shot from Obbadi was blocked as Monaco kept the pressure on the Nice goal.At the other end, Nice enjoyed three consecutive corners in the 31st minute and Eysseric had another chance at the end of the first half (43'). Subasic blocked the former Monaco man's effort at the second attempt. The referee, Mr Duhamel sent the two sides to the break. AS Monaco held a deserved lead.
Nice fight back
After the break, the game changed little. AS Monaco remained in control, and James missed a great opportunity to double the advantage (53'), but his effort from Obbadi lay-off flew well high. In the 62nd minute, Subasic was called upon again to clear two Nice corners. The visitors were looking more and more lively and Claudio Ranieri decided to reinforce the midfield by bringing on Kondogbia to replace Germain in the 64th minute. But the OGCN then had two huge chances, one after the other in the 68th minute. Subasic produced another smart save to keep out Cvitanich and then Obbadi blocked a Bodmer header on the line from the resulting corner!
A win for the Champions League
Nice were growing in confidence and it took all the experience of Carvalho to deny Bauthéac (77'). Fabinho did the same a minute later to keep Bruls under control. Under pressure, AS Monaco also had a chance in the 83rd minute when Obbadi broke free on the counterattack, but he couldn't find the finishing touch and fired wide of Ospina's goal. The final whistle confirmed AS Monaco's third derby win of the season and are guaranteed of qualifying, at the very least, for the third preliminary round of next season's Champions League!