St Etienne saw their bid to move into the top four of Ligue 1 on Wednesday night wrecked by out-of-form Rennes.
St Etienne had lost just once in their last six matches and if they had picked up a victory at the Stade de la Route de Lorient they could have moved above fourth-placed Marseille on goal difference.
However, 13th-placed Rennes, who had earned only two points from their previous four matches, upset the form book with a 3-1 victory thanks to a brace from Silvio Romero and another from Romain Alessandrini.
On-loan Romero opened the scoring in the 33rd minute - his first goal in Ligue 1 - and then doubled his account for the night in the 68th minute after Alessandrini had made it 2-0 earlier in the second half.
St Etienne pulled a goal back through Mevlut Erding but that was deep into stoppage time and did little to affect the final result.
The visitors started the match brightly enough though, and Erding drew a good save out of Benoit Costil in the sixth minute before Yohan Mollo saw an 18th-minute strike skim the Rennes crossbar.
It was Rennes who made the breakthrough however, with Alessandrini leading a rapid breakaway before passing to Foued Kadir on the left, and his cross into the middle was headed home by Argentinian Romero.
Alessandrini and Romero were heavily involved for the hosts and the former created a chance for Kadir at the end of the first half, which the Algeria international fired just over, before Romero almost made it 2-0 himself in the 51st minute after stealing possession.
He was denied by the foot of Costil on that occasion, but three minutes later he combined with Alessandrini as Rennes doubled their lead.
Kadir fed Romero inside the area and he flicked the ball into Alessandrini, who cracked a left-footed shot into the top corner.
St Etienne tried to respond and Mollo was unlucky to see his 62nd-minute header hit the crossbar, but five minutes later the game was dead and buried as Alessandrini did well down the left before sending over a cross which Romero volleyed home to make it 3-0.
Rennes were unable to keep a clean sheet, Erding making the most of a fortunate deflection to slot into an empty net, but they will care little about that as they got back to winning ways.