Ranieri hails Berbatov display after goal

Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri praised Dimitar Berbatov after the Bulgarian starred in his first start for the Ligue 1 giants on Saturday.

Berbatov opened the scoring and earned his side a penalty in their 2-1 win over Sochaux in his first start since joining the club in January.

Ranieri was pleased with his team, who moved back to within eight points of league leaders Paris Saint-Germain, and praised Berbatov.

"Dimitar was very good. He played for the team, he played well, he scored," the Italian said.

"I am very pleased with all of my players."

Berbatov needed just six minutes to put Monaco ahead at the Stade Louis II before earning a second-half penalty that James Rodriguez converted.

Edouard Butin pulled a goal back for Sochaux with seven minutes remaining but the relegation battlers were unable to find an equaliser.

Berbatov was happy with his performance and pleased his team managed to hold on late in the encounter.

"It was a good match for me because I had the chance to score quickly," the former Fulham and Manchester United striker said.

"You can say that it is a team victory because in the end it was complicated. Sochaux tried to score a second goal but we held on."

Brazilian full-back Fabinho was delighted with Monaco's response to their 2-0 loss to Saint-Etienne last time out.

"We needed to win tonight after the defeat last week," he said.

"This success against Sochaux allows us to stay in contact with PSG."