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French Ligue 1

Stade Louis II 5th October 2013 - Kick off 16:00 Ref: F Fautrel

Monaco Monaco vs St Etienne St Etienne

Monaco 2

Y Ferreira Carrasco (15)
L Ocampos (87)

ft

St Etienne 1

R Hamouma (49)

Monaco strike late to win

Last Updated: 05/10/13 6:38pm

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Yannick Ferreira Carrasco celebrates his goal for Monaco

Yannick Ferreira Carrasco celebrates his goal for Monaco

Late substitute Lucas Ocampos made an almost-immediate impact with an 87th-minute winner as Monaco opened up a three-point cushion at the Ligue 1 summit on Saturday evening with a 2-1 victory over St Etienne.

Romain Hamouma looked to have earned Les Verts a point when he equalised four minutes into the second half, cancelling out Belgian midfielder Yannick Ferreira Carrasco's 15th-minute opener at the Stade Louis II.

But Ocampos, on as an 84th-minute replacement for Ferreira Carrasco, had other ideas and wasted no time in turning the game in the hosts' favour.

The win moved Claudio Ranieri's side three points clear of champions Paris St Germain and four ahead of third-placed Marseille ahead of their blockbuster clash at the Stade Velodrome on Sunday night.

Monaco could have gone ahead as early as the ninth minute, when Joao Moutinho seized on a poor back-pass from Renaud Cohade and forced a fine close-range save from Stephane Ruffier, but the home fans did not have to wait too much longer to see the game's first goal.

Six minutes later, Ferreira Carrasco controlled James Rodriguez's cross and drilled a left-footed shot past Ruffier.

Ruffier had to be at full stretch to keep the visitors only one down in the 27th minute, diving to his right to keep out Rodriguez's fierce effort from Moutinho's pass.

St Etienne mustered their first opportunity of note on the half-hour mark, but Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic was able to deflect Franck Tabanou's shot away for a corner.

Christophe Galtier's team continued on the front foot after the interval, though. Subasic had to be alert to save Kurt Zouma's header from a Yohan Mollo cross in the 48th minute, but moments later they were level.

Faouzi Ghoulam started the move on the left by freeing Cohade, whose neat flick set up Hamouma to despatch a low left-footed drive past Subasic.

It was backs-to-the-wall stuff for the visitors thereafter as Monaco searched for a winner.

Ruffier and the St Etienne back line stood firm for over half an hour, though, and looked set to depart with a point - Ruffier pulled off a couple of crucial saves including a brilliant reflex stop from a Rodriguez blast which had looked goal-bound just before the hour mark.

However, Ranieri's later tinkering proved decisive. Ocampos - dropped from the starting line-up - was introduced in place of Ferreira Carrasco and needed only three minutes on the pitch before volleying home Rodriguez's excellent cross to the far post.

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Matches

Table

French Ligue 1

French Ligue 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Marseille 19 41
2 Lyon 19 39
3 Paris St Germain 19 38
4 St Etienne 19 36
5 Monaco 19 32
6 Bordeaux 19 31
7 Nantes 19 30
8 Rennes 19 28
9 Reims 19 28
10 Montpellier 19 26
11 Nice 19 22
12 Guingamp 19 22
13 Lille 18 21
14 Toulouse 19 21
15 Lorient 19 20
16 RC Lens 19 19
17 Metz 19 19
18 Evian Thonon Gaillar 18 19
19 Bastia 19 18
20 Caen 19 15