Paris, May 11 : Gaetan Laborde scored the winner in Montpellier's 1-0 road victory over Saint-Etienne in the 36th round of Ligue 1 on Friday to cut the deficit from their opponents to four points.
Saint-Etienne fail to leapfrog Lyon at third, a place at least in next season's Champions League qualifying round. Having played one more match, they trail by one point from Lyon, who will visit Marseille on Sunday. The first half saw few chances in attack from both sides. Saint-Etienne forward Wahbi Khazri fired a shot over the crossbar in the 23rd minute, before Florent Mollet's shot was kicked away by goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier at the other end of the pitch.
Daniel Congre was shown a red card in the 53rd minute for a dangerous challenge on Arnaud Nordin following the match referee's VAR review, but Saint-Etienne's advantage in number was vanished in nine minutes, as in-form Remy Cabella had to walk off the pitch in tears after receiving his second yellow card.
Laborde broke the deadlock shortly afterwards, finishing a precise low shot at target in the 64th minute. He got the chance of doubling Montpellier's lead four minutes later, but his chip beyond Ruffier just went wide of an empty goal.
After champions Paris Saint-Germain, second-placed Lille are close to securing another ticket to Champions League group stage with a six-point lead over Lyon with three matches remaining. Lille will take on Bordeaux on Sunday.