French champions Lille closed on the top-two in Ligue 1 after claiming a 1-0 win at bottom of the table Sochaux.
With top-two Paris Saint Germain and Montpellier drawing at the weekend, that gave Lille the chance to close on them.
And Rudi Garcia's men took their chance although it was a close contest at the Stade Auguste Bonal with Nolan Roux scoring with just 14-minutes left.
Lille are now within five-points of Montpellier and a further point off PSG.
St Etienne kept in touch with Lille courtesy of a 4-2 win over Lorient.
Arnold Mvuemba had given Lille the lead from the penalty spot just after the break but two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put St Etienne on top.
Mathias Autret levelled for the visitors, but St Etienne were not to be denied as they went ahead as Bruno Ecuele Manga put through his own net with just two-minutes left before Aubameyang completed his hat-trick.
Auxerre remain in the drop-zone after they went down 2-1 at Caen - who are up to eleventh.
Auxerre had gone ahead through Roy Contout's goal on the hour, but Caen battled back and claimed victory with Kandia Traore and Livio Nabab scoring.