AS Saint-Etienne took a giant step towards European qualification with an entertaining 2-0 Ligue 1 victory over LOSC Lille at the Stade Geoffrey Guichard.
ASSE deserved the victory having been the better side throughout the contest. They ought to have had a penalty and seen Lille reduced to ten men inside the first half, when Sebastien Corchia blocked a Max Gradel shot with his arm after the Ivorian international had taken the ball round goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.
The Stephanois did eventually get their man advantage when the returning Rony Lopes saw a straight red for this foul.
Eventually ASSE made their superiority tell. That man Gradel was afforded space in the box and sent a rocket of a shot into Enyeama’s net…this time Corchia wasn’t around to make the save.
Gradel scored ASSE’s second on 74 minutes following an indirect freekick a few yards out after Enyeama had picked up a backpass. The West African again made no mistake from close range with a thunderbolt.