Saint-Etienne beats Sochaux 3-1 in French league


PARIS (AP) -- Saint-Etienne beat lowly Sochaux 3-1 Sunday to pull within two points of third-place Lille in the French league.

Saint-Etienne forward Mevlut Erding headed in a cross from Yohan Mollo to open the scoring in the 46th minute, and the hosts doubled the lead in the 51st when winger Franck Tabanou converted a rebound after Sochaux goalkeeper Yohann Pele palmed away a volley from Renaud Cohade.

Sochaux substitute Edouard Butin pulled one back in the 66th by flicking home a low cross from Sebastien Corchia, but the visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 81st when striker Cedric Bakambu received a second yellow card for handling the ball while attempting to score.

Erding converted a pass from Brazilian forward Brandao to seal the win in the 89th.

Lyon kept pace with Saint-Etienne in the race for a European spot by defeating Guingamp 1-0. Bafetimbi Gomis fired in a half-volley from a tight angle in the 46th to help Lyon stay three points behind Saint-Etienne.

However, Lyon lost defenders Milan Bisevac and Mouhamadou Dabo to injury.

Later Sunday, second-place Monaco hosts Lille.

Paris Saint-Germain edged Lorient 1-0 on Friday to provisionally extend it lead to 11 points atop the league.

On Saturday, it was: Marseille 0, Rennes 1; Bastia 2, Reims 0; Bordeaux 1, Nice 1; Nantes 2, Montpellier 1; Toulouse 1, Evian 1; and Valenciennes 2, Ajaccio 3.