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Monaco secures Champions League spot with 1-0 win over Nice


MONACO — Dimitar Berbatov helped Monaco secure a Champions League spot with a 1-0 win over Nice in the French league on Sunday.

Berbatov chipped goalkeeper David Ospina in the fifth minute and the hosts came close to doubling their lead when Valere Germain struck the post in the 12th.

Mounir Obbadi preserved the victory by clearing a rebound off the line after goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saved a header from Nice centerback Mathieu Bodmer in the 68th.

"The second half was tough because most of the players played on Wednesday when we lost," Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour told Canal Plus television, "and we were a bit frustrated and exhausted."

Monaco lost 3-1 to Guingamp in extra time in the semifinals of the French Cup on Wednesday.

Monaco consolidated second place in the league and moved within seven points of leader Paris Saint-Germain, which has a game in hand.

The second-place team qualifies directly for the group stage of the Champions League while the side finishing third enters the preliminary round of the lucrative European competition.

Later Sunday, it's: Bastia vs. Ajaccio; Bordeaux vs. Guingamp; Lorient vs. Montpellier; Reims vs. Sochaux; Valenciennes vs. Nantes; and Marseille vs. Lille.

On Friday, Saint-Etienne drew 0-0 with Rennes.

On Saturday, PSG beat Lyon 2-1 to win the League Cup. As a result, their league games were postponed to Wednesday, when PSG will host Evian and Lyon will visit Toulouse.

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