St Etienne stifles Monaco

Saint Etienne, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Monaco's title hopes were dealt a significant blow on Saturday as the club sustained a 2-0 defeat at St Etienne which leaves the team five points adrift of leaders PSG.

Goals from Fabien Lemoine and Romain Hamouma handed the hosts all three points to move them into third place, while Monaco could drop eight points behind PSG if the capital club notches a win over Marseille on Sunday.

St Etienne scored with its first real chance of the match in the 17th minute when a corner kick from Hamouma was cleared only as far as Lemoine, who sent a thunderous volley into the top corner of the net from 30 yards.

Lemoine contributed on the defensive end as well when he cleared an effort from Nicolas Isimat-Mirin off the goal line after the ball had beaten St Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier.

The lead nearly grew to 2-0 at halftime when a shot from Lemoine clipped the post, while Monaco was also denied by the woodwork as Valere Germain got in behind the defense after a pass from Lucas Ocampos and shot against the post.

But the home side got a bit of breathing room in the 67th minute when a free kick from Benoit Tremoulinas was only partially cleared, allowing Hamouma to slam home his team's second goal, wrapping up all three points.

Reims moved into the top six after beating Valenciennes, 3-1, as the club continues its pursuit of a European place, while Guingamp jumped 10 points above the relegation places with a 2-0 win at Rennes courtesy of goals from Thibault Giresse and Mustapha Yatabare.

Sochaux's survival bid got a bit of a boost with a 2-0 over Bordeaux after second-half goals from Jordan Ayew and Cedric Bakambu moved the team to within five points of safety.

Toulouse downed 10-man Nice, 2-0, behind strikes from Eden Ben Basat and Ben Yedder, and Lorient was held to a 1-1 draw by Bastia as Gianni Bruno's 50th- minute goal canceled out the opener from Lorient's Bruno Manga.