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Saint-Etienne overcome Nantes

Saint-Etienne overcame a poor pitch to make up ground in the race for a European spot by defeating Nantes 2-0 in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Benjamin Corgnet celebrates after giving St Etienne the lead.
Benjamin Corgnet opened the scoring against Nantes.

Saint-Etienne threatened early with tame efforts from Mevlut Erding. The Turkey striker also set up Benjamin Corgnet, whose early first-time effort sailed over the bar.

However, Corgnet did not miss in the 24th. Erding slipped the ball to the midfielder, who beat goalkeeper Remy Riou with a low strike from the edge of the box.

Erding converted a penalty in the 83rd minute after Nantes substitute Chaker Alhadhur handled a high ball.

Saint-Etienne provisionally climbed to fourth place with a game in hand while Nantes slipped to sixth.

Also Saturday, Reims thrashed Ajaccio 4-1 to go level on points with Nantes.

Gaetan Charbonnier gave the hosts a 2-0 lead with spectacular volleys in the 59th and 62nd minutes before Israeli forward Eliran Atar made it 3-0 with a chip in the 73rd.

Ajaccio forward Eduardo headed home to pull one back in the 75th, but Reims winger Floyd Ayite sealed the win in the 78th.

Sochaux edged Rennes 2-1 to leave the last spot to Ajaccio. Sochaux coach Herve Renard earned his first league victory since he was appointed on Oct. 7 to replace Eric Hely.

Sochaux striker Cedric Bakambu played a one-two with Vincent Nogueira before beating Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil for the winner in the 72nd minute.

Bakambu put the hosts ahead with a penalty in the 18th but Rennes winger Romain Alessandrini equalized also from the penalty spot in the 41st.

Nice rallied past Evian 3-1 for a third straight win in all competitions.

Montpellier extended their winless streak to 11 games in all competitions by drawing 0-0 with Bastia.

Toulouse also split the points with Guingamp in a 0-0 draw.




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