Monaco drop off the pace
Last Updated: 01/03/14 6:36pm
Romain Hamouma was on target for St Etienne
Monaco lost ground in the Ligue 1 title race on Saturday as they went down 2-0 at St Etienne.
Fabien Lemoine and Romain Hamouma were the men on target as Christophe Galtier's stunned their visitors and handed Paris St Germain the opportunity to open up an eight-point cushion at the summit on Sunday night when they face Marseille.
The result also lifted Les Verts to third in the standings, albeit eight points behind Claudio Ranieri's team.
The hosts went ahead by capitalising on their first real sight of goal, Lemoine unleashing a fine right-footed volley into the top corner after Hamouma's corner had been cleared to the edge of the box in the 17th minute.
The visitors were close to an equaliser just after the half-hour, but home goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier kept out Valere Germain's first-time effort despite a slight deflection off Loic Perrin.
Ruffier was beaten five minutes before half-time, but Lemoine came to the rescue by clearing off the line after Fabinho's cross had found Nicolas Isimat-Mirin unmarked in the area.
St Etienne also had their chances, though, and it could have been 2-0 at the interval had Lemoine's left-footed shot from Brandao's set-up snuck inside the post rather than skimming the upright on its way wide.
It was Monaco's turn to be denied by the woodwork in the opening moments of the second period, Germain freed by substitute Lucas Ocampos and despatching a fierce shot against the post.
Rodriguez could also have got his side back on level terms a minute later, but Ruffier made the block. Benoit Tremoulinas supplied the delivery from a free-kick and, although it was half cleared, it fell kindly for Hamouma to return with interest.
Things could have got even worse for Monaco four minutes from time, but goalkeeper Danijel Subasic got down well to deny Brandao a third.
French Ligue 1
|2||Paris St Germain||26||52|
|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||25||26|