Monaco goalscorers Aymen Abdennour, left, and Fabinho embrace at the end of the 2-0 victory over Zenit St Petersburg. Image Credit: AP

Monaco: Aymen Abdennour and Fabinho’s second-half goals helped Monaco beat Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 at home and send the principality side into the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday.

Centre back Abdennour headed home in the 64th minute and Fabinho doubled the tally with a low shot one minute from time as Monaco clinched top spot in Group C with 11 points from six games, although they managed a miserly four goals.

Bayer Leverkusen, who were held to a goalless draw at Benfica, finished one point behind.

Zenit will drop into the Europa League round of 32.

Monaco, who had only conceded one goal from their opening five games, started cautiously.

Zenit had the first decent chance when Hulk’s powerful free kick was parried away by Danijel Subasic in the 27th minute.

Shortly afterwards, Jeremy Toulalan slalomed though the Zenit defence but his low shot went wide.

Zenit largely domainated possession but the hosts were barely threatened and comfortably reached the interval unscathed.

Dimitar Berbatov came close for Monaco 10 minutes into the second half when his clever flick from Yannick Ferreira Carrasco’s pass went just above the bar.

The former Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United striker went off injured a minute later with Anthony Martial coming on.

Monaco were breathing easier just past the hour when Ferreira Carrasco’s perfectly bent free kick was met by Tunisian Abdennour with a downward header to score with Monaco’s first attempt on target.

Hulk’s fine free kick 20 minutes from time went just over the bar as Zenit tried to respond, but the home side, who lost James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao to Real Madrid and Manchester United respectively last summer, held on firmly.

They even scored another goal in the 89th minute when Fabinho, who had been played in by Joao Moutinho, fired a low shot between Yuri Lodygin’s legs.