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French Ligue 1

La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau (ATT 36,609) 10th May 2014 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: O Thual

Nantes Nantes vs St Etienne St Etienne

Nantes 1

S Gakpe (82)

ft

St Etienne 3

M Erdinc (10, 45+2)
M Gradel (pen 23)

Erdinc plays starring role

Last Updated: 10/05/14 11:40pm

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Mevlut Erdinc: St Etienne's best player

Mevlut Erdinc: St Etienne's best player

Mevlut Erdinc starred as St Etienne kept alive their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League with a comfortable 3-1 win at Nantes.

Erdinc scored twice in the first half and earned the penalty that Max Gradel converted in between as the visitors were three goals to the good before half-time.

Serge Gakpe reduced the deficit nine minutes from time but St Etienne comfortably held on and they will head into their final game of the season at home to already-relegated Ajaccio two points behind third-placed Lille, who were beaten by Paris St Germain on Saturday and face a trickier fixture on the last day of their campaign at Lorient.

While Lille will still be favourites to seal third spot and a spot in the Champions League third qualifying round, Christophe Galtier's men have at least kept the race going until the final day of the season.

They were rampant in the first half and were a goal up inside 10 minutes when Turkey striker Erdinc headed home from Gradel's inch-perfect cross.

Les Verts were nearly pegged back and only an excellent Stephane Ruffier save from Banel Nicolita's powerful 25-yard free-kick kept them ahead.

St Etienne then doubled their lead midway through the half when Gradel sent Remy Riou the wrong way from the spot after Koffi Djidji had brought down Erdinc in the box.

Erdinc then all but ended the match as a contest on the stroke of half-time with a sublime lob over a helpless Riou.

Nantes dominated proceedings in the opening stages after the interval, with Ruffier pushing Itay Shechter's strike wide before Lucas Deaux's header from Nicolita's cannoned back off the post.

Ruffier again denied Nantes with a magnificent save to deny Gakpe but the St Etienne goalkeeper was finally beaten when the Togo forward netted from Nicolita's cross with the goal gaping.

It mattered little to the result, however, with St Etienne holding on to secure all three points.

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Matches

Table

French Ligue 1

French Ligue 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Marseille 14 31
2 Paris St Germain 14 30
3 Lyon 14 27
4 Nantes 14 24
5 Bordeaux 14 24
6 St Etienne 14 23
7 Rennes 14 22
8 Monaco 14 20
9 Montpellier 14 20
10 Reims 14 19
11 Nice 14 18
12 Metz 14 18
13 Toulouse 14 17
14 Lille 13 16
15 Bastia 14 14
16 Caen 14 13
17 Lorient 14 13
18 Evian Thonon Gaillar 13 13
19 Guingamp 14 12
20 RC Lens 14 11