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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 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