Saint-Etienne climb with Toulouse held

Saint-Etienne bolstered their UEFA Champions League push with a come-from-behind 2-1 win at Valenciennes today, which moves the side to within a point of third-placed Lille in Ligue 1.

Both sides were reduced to ten men in the first half, with Valenciennes midfielder Carlos Sanchez shown a straight red card for clashing with Fabien Lemoine in the fourth minute and Jean Pascal Mignot dismissed for a last-man foul on Foued Kadir.

The hosts broke the deadlock in the 69th minute through Vincent Aboubakar, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 11th goal of the season drew Saint-Etienne level four minutes later. The winning goal arrived after another four-minute interval, with Bakary Sako slamming the ball into an unguarded net after Laurent Batlles' shot came back off the base of the left-hand post.

Toulouse started the day level on points with Saint-Etienne, but they could not match their rivals' result as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Lorient that moved them up one place to fifth.

Bordeaux snapped a two-game losing streak by winning 2-0 at Brest to draw level on points with eighth-placed Marseille, while Nancy followed up their victory over Lyon with a 1-1 draw at relegation rivals Nice.

Sochaux began life without sacked coach Mehmed Bazdarevic by winning 3-2 at Evian, which ended their 14-game winless run and lifted them off the foot of the table.

Following their elimination from the Champions League by Cypriot minnows APOEL in midweek, Lyon will bid to resurrect their faltering bid to qualify for next season's competition when they host Lille in Saturday's late game.

Victory for the champions would leave Lyon ten points below the Champions League places, as well as provisionally moving Rudi Garcia's side to within five points of the league summit.