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Aubameyang's brace fires St Etienne past Nancy

St Etienne continued its push for a Champions League place on Saturday as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a goal in each half to help his side to a 3-0 win at last-place Nancy.

Brandao got the visitors off the mark in the 17th minute when his left-footed effort from the middle of the area found its way past goalkeeper Damien Gregorini.

Aubameyang doubled the lead for St Etienne five minutes before halftime after being set up by Fabien Lemoine, who was sent off in the 64th minute for a poor challenge on Nancy's Vincent Muratori.

But despite playing down a man, Aubameyang struck the crossbar a few minutes later, while the home side was reduced to 10 men as well in the 78th minute after Florent Zitte saw red.

Aubameyang added another goal with a few minutes to play to cap the scoring, leaving St Etienne in fifth place, but only two points back of third-place Marseille.

Rennes has hopes of securing a place in Europe but the club needed a goal in the 88th minute from Jean Makoun to earn a 2-2 draw at home against Sochaux, while Lille got two goals in the second half from Dimitri Payet to top Ajaccio, 3-1.

Troyes and Bastia played out a 0-0 draw in a battle of bottom-half teams, Montpellier moved into sixth place with a 1-0 victory over Evian courtesy of Younes Belhanda's 80th-minute goal and Valenciennes and Toulouse finished 0-0.