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Monaco keep title race alive for now

Monaco kept the Ligue 1 title race mathematically alive on Saturday night with a 1-0 victory at Rennes.

Monaco's French forward Emmanuel Riviere celebrates scoring.
Monaco's French forward Emmanuel Riviere celebrates scoring.

Emmanuel Riviere netted the game's only goal 10 minutes into the second half to lift Claudio Ranieri's second-placed side to 10 points behind leaders Paris St Germain, who visit Lyon on Sunday.

The result did little for Philippe Montanier's Rennes side, though, as they remained nine points above the relegation zone with five games left.

Lorient leapfrogged Nice in the standings thanks to a dramatic 2-1 victory at the Allianz Riviera on Saturday night.

Both teams came into the match without a win in their last four league matches and it was the visitors who stopped the rot courtesy of Vincent Aboubakar's winner two minutes into stoppage-time.

Gilles Sunu and Timothee Kolodziejczak had earlier exchanged first-half goals as both sides searched for the win that would take them a big step towards mathematically securing their survival this season.

Lorient now sit 11 points clear of the drop zone with five games remaining, while their opponents are one place and two points below them.

Lille kept a firm grip on third place and left Valenciennes in a parlous state after Divock Origi's second-half strike earned a 1-0 home win.

The home side had been on top, but not without seeing their goal threatened on occasion, before Origi scored the game's only goal in the 69th minute.

He slotted past Magno Novaes to leave Valenciennes mired in the relegation zone, still six points from safety on Saturday night and praying that gap would not widen over the course of the weekend.

Mehdi Mostefa's late equaliser earned Ajaccio a stay of execution as the Corsicans fought back to draw 1-1 with Bordeaux.

Ajaccio's relegation would have been confirmed if they had failed to find a reply to Jussie's 62nd-minute opener. With five minutes remaining, the bottom club did muster a response - through Mostefa's superb volley.

However, they were still left needing a miracle to survive -- 15 points adrift of safety with only five games left.

Evian claimed a 2-1 comeback victory over Bastia as they extended their unbeaten run to four matches and moved eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Florian Raspentino put the visitors ahead at the game approached the half-hour mark, but Nicolas Benezet equalised four minutes later and Daniel Wass grabbed the winner for Evian at the start of the second half.

Sochaux kept alive their survival hopes with a 2-0 home victory over Toulouse.

Jordan Ayew's first-half goal and another from Roy Contout after the break moved Herve Renard's team to within five points of safety with five matches remaining.

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