Saint-Etienne have pushed into the Ligue 1 top-four with a 4-1 home thrashing of French champions Montpeliier on Saturday.
It has been a resurgent run of form for Christophe Galtier’s men, who have now won four games in a row.
Brazilian striker Brandao scored his fifth goal of the season to give Saint-Etienne the lead on 13 minutes before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled the advantage in the 29th minute.
In a flurry of action just after half-time, Saint-Etienne got their third goal three minutes after the restart through Yohan Mollo but Montpellier quickly responded a minute later through Remy Cabella.
Midfielder Mathieu Bodmer effectively ended the contest in the 75th minute as Saint-Etienne grabbed a comfortable win despite being shaded for possession.
Bordeaux suffered a shock 1-0 loss at Ajaccio as the victors extended their streak without a loss to five games.
The result allowed Saint-Etienne and Nice to leapfrog Bordeaux, who dropped out of the top-four and would be disappointed in not winning a game they dominated throughout.
Senegalese midfielder Ricardo Faty scored the game’s only goal in the 31st minute – his first goal of the season – as Ajaccio moved up to 13th position in the standings.
Nice and Lorient fought out a 1-1 draw at the Stade Municipal du Ray with the home side missing a chance to clear in the top-four.
Lucas Mareque’s 75th minute strike put Lorient ahead on 75 minutes before Valentin Eysseric’s equaliser seven minutes later ensured a share of the points.
In other results, bottom-placed Nancy gave up a lead to lose 2-1 against Reims while Valenciennes got back in the winner’s circle with a 2-1 home victory against Brest.
The game between Troyes and Sochaux ended goalless with both teams still stuck in a relegation battle.
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