Ligue 1 round-up
Struggling St Etienne claim surprise win
Last Updated: February 20, 2010 10:38pm
Riviere: On target for St Etienne
Montpellier missed the chance to move level on points with Bordeaux at the top of Ligue 1 after their defeat by St Etienne, while fellow strugglers Le Mans and Nice also triumphed.
Emmanuel Riviere struck 11 minutes from time as St Etienne ended Montpellier's run of five straight wins with a 1-0 success.
The teenager finished off a fine team move by heading calmly home to give the hosts three welcome points as they attempt to pull away from the relegation zone.
The result was no more than Les Verts deserved as Dimitri Payet and Victor Montano also went close to extending that lead in the second half.
Nice coach Didier Olle-Nicolle was granted a stay of execution as his team snatched their first victory in three months by beating Lorient 1-0.
Loic Remy grabbed the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in the 56th minute after Mamadou Bagayoko was sent sprawling inside the box.
And Nice should have had a second goal nine minutes from time when Anthony Mounier unleashed a stunning volley, but Fabien Audard pulled off probably the save of the night to keep out his powerful shot.
Two quickfire first-half goals set Le Mans on their way to a vital 3-1 victory away to relegation rivals Boulogne.
Mathieu Dossevi's long-range screamer on the half-hour mark and a tap-in three minutes later from Gregory Cerdan opened up a two-goal lead at the interval.
Mustapha Yatabare's powerful drive found a way past Didier Ovono to halve the deficit for Boulogne but Modibo Maiga's scrappy injury-time goal assured Le Mans of victory.
Goals from Issam Jemaa and Sebastien Roudet before the break and a penalty in the second half from Henri Bedimo earned Lens a 3-0 win over Monaco.
Roudet set up the opening goal as his free-kick was deflected by Alaeddine Yahia into the path of Jemaa, who headed past Stephane Ruffier.
Roudet got on the scoresheet himself four minutes before the interval by converting a fine passing move, and Bedimo stepped up calmly from the spot after the break to secure maximum points after a foul by Djimi Traore on Jemaa.
Carlos Sanchez headed the first-half winner as Valenciennes jumped to eighth place in the table with a 1-0 win at Grenoble.
The hosts were unlucky not to go ahead in the first half when Jean Calve's cross-cum-shot hit the left corner of post and crossbar before bouncing to safety.
Valenciennes' goal arrived in the 32nd minute when Rudi Mater lofted a free-kick forward and Sanchez powered his header from the penalty spot past Jody Viviani.
Grenoble surged forward late on and their clearest chance of an equaliser came three minutes from the end when Ravet burst into the penalty area with only Nicolas Penneteau to beat, but the goalkeeper did brilliantly to smother his effort.
In the day's late kick-off, Guillaume Hoarau's controversial penalty gave Paris St Germain their first Ligue 1 win of 2010 against Toulouse.
Hoarau converted after the spot-kick was given for a foul by Albin Ebondo, who was also sent off, leaving Toulouse to battle for nearly 70 minutes with 10 men.
PSG used their man advantage to dominated proceedings thereafter, though Etienne Capoue came close to equalising when he hit the post with a rare Toulouse opportunity.