The Northern side edged closer to relegation as ASSE picked up a valuable three points.
AS Saint-Etienne heaped further misery on FC Metz with an excellent 3-2 away victory at the Stade Municipal Saint-Symphorien on Saturday evening.
Max-Gradel is in a rich vein of form at the moment, and it was the Ivorian who opened the scoring, firing home when he was found in space on 38 minutes.
Metz seemed to lose their composure as they fell behind, and Melvut Erding doubled Saint-Etienne’s lead just before the break.
The relegation-threatened side, seemingly realising they were nearing the end of the road, came out strong after the break and Kevin Lejeune gave them a lifeline with this wonderful strike.
Their comeback was ended, however, when Yohan Mollo found the net for the second weekend in a row after coming on as a substitute.
There was time for late drama when Metz’s Yeni N’Gbakoto converted a penalty after Benjamin Corgnet was adjudged-rather harshly-to have handled inside the box.