08.03.2015 19:11 h

Late goals lift Saint-Etienne

Yohan Mollo
Yohan Mollo

Saint-Etienne brought their seven-game winless streak to an end with a 2-0 victory over strugglers Lorient on Sunday and leapfrogged Bordeaux into fifth place in Ligue 1, closing in on the European places.

Yohan Mollo came off the bench to break the deadlock with just 15 minutes to go before Max-Alain Gradel made sure of all three points in injury time.

Saint-Etienne, who needed penalties to beat third-tier Boulogne in the French Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, found Benjamin Lecomte in defiant mood in the Lorient goal.

"It's an important win for us. We needed it after last week's draw at Toulouse and the French Cup win," said Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier.

"We have had quite a few injuries lately and lost a few players so there have been some changes in the team.

"But this has given us the chance to look at some of the younger players. And the substitutes have played their part, too."

Mollo, who had only been on the field a matter of minutes, took his chance from just outside the box. His powerful shot, deflected by Mehdi Mostefa, beat the hapless Lecomte with a quarter of an hour left.

Africa Cup of Nations winner Gradel then grabbed his third goal in as many league games to seal the match by tapping in a clever Romain Hamouma cross in injury time.

Lorient, who had been reduced to 10 men when Didier Ndong was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 67th minute, are now just two points above the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, Guingamp slumped to a third straight league defeat, going down 1-0 at home to Lille with Nolan Roux scoring the only goal of the game.

The result takes Lille up to eighth but leaves Guingamp, who won through to the semi-finals of the French Cup in midweek, in the bottom half.

Later on Sunday, Lyon, who have managed a mere six points from their last five league outings, travel to Montpellier needing a win to overtake Paris Saint-Germain and go back to the top.

On Saturday, PSG provisionally moved into first place with a routine 4-1 home win against struggling Lens.

Fourth-placed Monaco also won, 3-1 away at Evian, to move back to within six points of Marseille, who are third, with a game in hand.