Saint-Etienne up to third, Lille thrash Lorient
© AFP

Saint-Etienne went third in Ligue 1 on Sunday after a late winner from Romain Hamouma propelled them past relegation-threatened Evian 1-0 and into possession of the final UEFA Champions League qualifying spot. The 'Green Devils' overtook neighbours and arch rivals Lyon on goal difference after the multiple former champions lost at Reims.

Fallen giants Saint-Etienne are one of the most successful teams in French football but the last of their ten league titles was back in 1981. Hamouma headed home Francois Clerc's cross with just 12 minutes remaining.

Saint-Etienne have also reached the French League Cup final - their first domestic final since 1982 - where they will face Rennes on April 20. The result piled pressure on Remi Garde's Lyon who fell 1-0 at Reims - the first time the former multiple champions have lost three consecutive league games in 20 years.

Grzegorz Krychowiak was the match winner for Reims with a 53rd minute penalty to drop Lyon to fourth on goal difference. The win meanwhile boosted Reims's chances of staving off relegation, the club moving four points above the drop zone.

Lille moved within one point of Saint-Etienne and Lyon with a 5-0 drubbing of Lorient in Sunday's late game. Former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou grabbed a brace, while Dmitri Payet and Ronny Rodelin also scored as did Lucas Digne from the penalty spot.