AS Saint-Étienne jumped ahead of Olympique Lyonnais into France's third and final UEFA Champions League berth with a 1-0 victory against Évian Thonon Gaillard FC, as Lyon's recent slump continued with a 1-0 reverse at Stade de Reims.
Unbeaten in 11 games before their meeting with Évian, but having drawn their last three, St-Étienne were made to work hard against opponents one point above the relegation zone. They eventually made their breakthrough with 13 minutes remaining as the unmarked Romain Hamouma was able to head in a François Clerc corner.
Les Verts now lead Lyon on goal difference as Rémi Garde's men suffered their third consecutive Ligue 1 defeat. Les Gones were undone when Grzegorz Krychowiak fired in from the penalty spot for Reims on 53 minutes, Milan Biševac having been shown red for bringing down Diego in the area. Lyon have now gone five matches without a win as they chase UEFA Champions League football next term.
In Sunday's other game, LOSC Lille moved back into fifth place with a handsome 5-0 victory against FC Lorient, Salomon Kalou registering twice in his club's seventh win in eight outings. The northerners lie a point behind St-Étienne and Lyon.
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|Last updated: 09/04/2013 15:13 CET|
Krychowiak 53 (P)
Laquait 78 (o.g.)
|Venue: St Etienne|
|1||Paris Saint-Germain FC||31||64|
|2||Olympique de Marseille||31||57|
|7||Montpellier Hérault SC||31||48|
|9||FC Girondins de Bordeaux||31||43|
|10||Stade Rennais FC||31||42|
|14||AC Ajaccio *||31||34|
|15||Stade de Reims||31||34|
|17||Évian Thonon Gaillard FC||31||31|
|19||Stade Brestois 29||31||29|
|20||ES Troyes AC||31||25|