Saint-Etienne outlast blizzard, Montpellier
© AFP

Saint-Etienne battled blizzard-like conditions in the Rhone-Alpes region to move fourth in Ligue 1 following a 4-1 weather-interrupted win over Montpellier on Saturday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted his 11th goal of the campaign as further strikes from Brandao, Yohan Mollo and Mathieu Bodmer extended Saint-Etienne's winning streak to four in a match delayed for 45 minutes due to heavy snowfall. Christophe Galtier's side climbed above Nice and Bordeaux to fill the last of the European places with the club's six-game winless run over the festive period becoming an increasingly distant memory.

Brandao converted Aubameyang's low cross to stake the home side to a 13th-minute lead before Gabonese star Aubameyang scored in his third successive outing with a deft backheel from Renaud Cohade's teasing ball into the box. The second half was delayed by 15 minutes as groundstaff worked to clear snow off the pitch at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, but the interruption failed to halt the hosts' momentum as Mollo pounced on a loose ball inside the penalty area just three minutes after the restart to coolly tuck under Geoffrey Jourdren.

Remy Cabella replied instantaneously to give Montpellier a glimmer of hope as he expertly steered beyond Stephane Ruffier but play then held up for a second time on 65 minutes as conditions again deteriorated. The action resumed following a 30-minute break with Bodmer marking his Saint-Etienne debut - following his loan move from Paris Saint-Germain at the end of January - with his team's fourth on 74 minutes as he headed in a Cohade free-kick.

Faty's goal secures points for Ajaccio
Elsewhere, a spectacular first-half overhead kick from Ricardo Faty handed Ajaccio a 1-0 win over Bordeaux, extending the Corsicans' unbeaten sequence to five matches. Valentin Eysseric grabbed a late equaliser for European hopefuls Nice in a 1-1 home draw with Lorient after Lucas Marque had given the visitors the lead.

Second-half goals from Floyd Ayite and Odair Fortes earned Reims a 2-1 victory at basement club Nancy, who had gone ahead through Sebastien Puygrenier on 29 minutes. Valenciennes beat Brest 2-1 thanks to efforts from Mathieu Dossevi and Rudy Mater with the away side clawing back a consolation goal through Florian Raspentino. Troyes moved off the foot of the table following a goalless stalemate with Sochaux to round out the day's Ligue 1 action.

On Friday, PSG beat Bastia 3-1 to go six points clear at the top but Lyon can trim that advantage to three points if they defeat Lille on Sunday.