AS Saint-Étienne have secured a spot in European competition next season after putting themselves beyond the reach of sixth-placed Olympique de Marseille with a 2-0 victory against Montpellier Hérault SC.
Romain Hamouma opened the scoring for St-Étienne shortly after the restart when he picked up a pass from Moustapha Bayal Sall and turned to rifle beyond Geoffrey Jourdren. Mevlüt Erdinç subsequently made sure of the outcome ten minutes later, pouncing after a Gradel set piece had been deflected by the Montpellier wall.
The win leaves Les Verts seven points clear of OM with two games remaining, securing Christophe Galtier's side a spot in the UEFA Europa League next term at the very least. As for Marseille, André-Pierre Gignac struck twice as they saw off Olympique Lyonnais 4-2 to move within two points of their fifth-placed opponents.
Also on Sunday, Valenciennes FC were relegated after succumbing 1-0 at home to FC Girondins de Bordeaux, Maor Melikson missing an early penalty for the hosts. Third-bottom FC Sochaux-Montbéliard boosted their survival hopes, in contrast, defeating OGC Nice 2-0 to climb within a point of Évian Thonon Gaillard FC, who lost 1-0 at Stade de Reims after Cédric Mongongu had a late spot kick saved.
Elsewhere, FC Lorient saw off relegated AC Ajaccio 1-0 and the game between Toulouse FC and FC Nantes ended 1-1.
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|Last updated: 04/05/2014 23:00 CET|
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|6||Olympique de Marseille||36||56|
|7||FC Girondins de Bordeaux||36||51|
|8||Stade de Reims||36||48|
|13||Montpellier Hérault SC||36||42|
|15||Stade Rennais FC||35||40|
|17||Évian Thonon Gaillard FC||36||38|