Monaco overwhelm Saint-Etienne to boost Ligue 1 title hopes


Monaco rebooted their title hopes, moving to within four points of Ligue 1 leaders Lille after a 4-0 win at Saint-Etienne on Friday.

Stevan Jovetic’s first-half strike was followed by second-half goals from Aurelien Tchouameni, Sofiane Diop and Krepin Diatta which closed out a comfortable win for Niko Kovac’s men who had taken just a point from their last two league outings.

Monaco remain fourth in the table, just one point behind second-placed Paris Saint-Germain and third-placed Lyon who meet on Sunday.

“We have to continue like this. We have to secure fourth place. The standings are clear,” said Monaco coach Kovac.

“We are back to one point from Lyon and PSG but I don’t want to look beyond that. But it will be difficult to pass Lyon, Paris and Lille which are very strong teams.”

The result is another blow to Saint-Etienne who are down in 16th, six points clear of the relegation play-off place.

Montenegrin striker Jovetic caused problems from the start, hitting the crossbar before getting the opportunity to open the scoring from the penalty spot on 12 minutes.

His strike, however, again came back off the woodwork, this time the left post.

A minute later, however, he collected a pass from Tchouameni, feinted past the goalkeeper and slipped the ball in for the opener.

Monaco dominated the rest of the half but failed to add any more goals.

The pressure told, though, in the second half as Tchouameni added a second in the 54th minute.

Diop extended the lead with his seventh goal of the season in the 63rd minute before Diatta closed out the win 12 minutes later.

bsp/jc



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