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French Ligue 1

Geoffroy-Guichard (ATT 34,659) 4th May 2014 - Kick off 13:00 Ref: Amaury Delerue

St Etienne St Etienne vs Montpellier Montpellier

St Etienne 2

R Hamouma (47)
M Erdinc (57)

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St Etienne stay fourth

Last Updated: 04/05/14 3:50pm

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Mevlut Erdinc celebrates after netting St Etienne's second goal

Mevlut Erdinc celebrates after netting St Etienne's second goal

St Etienne strengthened their grip on fourth place in Ligue 1 and a shot at European football next season with a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Montpellier.

Goals by Romain Hamouma and Mevlut Erding early in the second half proved sufficient for St Etienne to temporarily move five points clear of nearest challengers Lyon, who play later on Sunday.

Defeat for Montpellier means they are still not completely safe from relegation, although with 42 points the 2012 champions should have enough in the bank to stay up and indeed could be safe if results later on Sunday go in their favour.

The hosts were riding a six-match unbeaten run heading into this match and looked full of confidence in the early going, with Benjamin Corgnet and Hamouma close to making the breakthrough inside 15 minutes.

Montpellier contributed little in a dismal opening period and it came as little surprise when Rolland Courbis' men fell behind to a stunning effort in the 47th minute.

Moustapha Bayal Sall's long hoof from his own half was latched onto by Hamouma, who took aim from 25 yards with an bullet strike that fizzed into the top-right corner.

The hosts deservedly doubled their lead on 57 minutes as Max Gradel's free-kick defected off the wall and into the path of Erding who had a simple task to convert.

Montpellier flickered briefly into life at the death when M'Baye Niang picked up the ball inside the box, turned his man and fired a powerful drive at goal but it flew narrowly wide of the upright.

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Matches

Table

French Ligue 1

French Ligue 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Paris St Germain 38 83
2 Lyon 38 75
3 Monaco 38 71
4 Marseille 38 69
5 St Etienne 38 69
6 Bordeaux 38 63
7 Montpellier 38 56
8 Lille 38 56
9 Rennes 38 50
10 Guingamp 38 49
11 Nice 38 48
12 Bastia 38 47
13 Caen 38 46
14 Nantes 38 45
15 Reims 38 44
16 Lorient 38 43
17 Toulouse 38 42
18 Evian Thonon Gaillar 38 37
19 Metz 38 30
20 RC Lens 38 29