Saint-Etienne defeated Rennes 2-0 in their Ligue 1 mid-table clash with Pierre Aubameyang and Renaud Cohade scoring the goals.
Friday’s match saw Rennes, who sat ninth on the table, travel to take on 10th-placed Saint-Etienne with the home side making the most of the visitors’ nervous defence throughout the 90 minutes.
Each time Saint-Etienne got the ball inside Rennes’ penalty area they caused trouble, with Aubameyang scoring the opening goal in the 21st minute.
Mark Gradel linked up with Cohade down the right, playing a one-two and then crossing into the box to the feet of Aubameyang.
The Gabonese attacker took two touches to get around his defender and finished smartly across the goalkeeper to give his team a deserved lead.
Just four minutes into the second half, Saint-Etienne made it 2-0.
A long aerial pass towards Rennes’ penalty area was not properly cleared and the ball was eventually headed towards Cohade, who struck a powerful shot from outside the box and into the back of the net.
Aubameyang could have had a brace when he got on the end of a through ball but his scorching shot was just above Benoit Costil’s head and the Rennes goalkeeper did well to parry the ball away.
The match went from bad to worse for Rennes in second-half injury time with striker Mevlut Erding sent off for an off-the-ball incident.
Erding was judged to have deliberately stomped on Saint-Etienne defender Jean-Pascal Mignot and was given a straight red card, which caused a furious response from Rennes head coach Frederic Antonetti.
The result sees Saint-Etienne move above Rennes on the Ligue 1 table.
Saint-Etienne climbed to sixth with 15 points, while Rennes have dropped to 10th, two points back.