Les Verts in Europe, Valenciennes down
© AFP

Saint-Etienne assured their presence in next season's UEFA Europa League with a 2-0 win over Montpellier while a 1-0 home defeat for Valenciennes against Bordeaux consigned them to French Ligue 2 action next season.

Valenciennes joined already-relegated Ajaccio, who themselves lost 1-0 at Lorient, in failing to preserve their top flight status after eight years in Ligue 1 with two games remaining. This 21st loss of the campaign left Valenciennes out of reach of Evian, the fourth from bottom club.

In contrast Sochaux, the other team in the drop zone, are still in with a major shout of surviving after a 2-0 win with Jordan Ayew getting the second goal against Nice moving them up to 37 points. In a trick of the fixture list Sochaux's last match of the campaign is set to be an explosive encounter against Evian.

Up at the other end of the table, Saint-Etienne sealed their Europa League place after goals from Romain Hamouma and Mevlut Erdinc guaranteed them at least a fifth place finish.

Toulouse came from behind to draw 1-1 against ten-man Nantes. Oswaldo Vizcarrondo opened the scoring for the visitors in the first half before Wissam Ben Yedder equalised in the second period. Les Canaris then saw Papy Djilobodji sent off but held on for a point. 

Elsewhere, Stade de Reims grabbed a slender 1-0 victory against Evian thanks to Prince Oniangue's first half effort.

In the day's late game, Marseille produced one of their performances of the season, dishing out a 4-2 defeat to multiple former champions Lyon at the Velodrome.

Souleymane Diawara, Florian Thauvin, and a second half double from Andre-Pierre Gignac inflicted the damage for the south coast club who have Marcelo Bielsa signed up to assume managerial control next season. The win moved Marseille up to 56 points, just two behind Lyon who occupy sixth spot and with it the second ticket to Europa League action.