Monaco tighten grip on second

Monaco tightened their grip on second place in the French Ligue 1 table with a 3-0 win over Nantes.

Having not tasted victory in their previous two league outings, Claudio Ranieri's team were sent on their way thanks to a brace from Colombian James Rodriguez.

Andrea Raggi was on target in between times as Alejandro Bedoya headed a consolation for Nantes.

Monaco's win meant they remained 13 points adrift of leaders Paris St Germain, with six games remaining, but more importantly six clear of third-placed Lille in the race for the second Champions League place.

St Etienne lost ground in that battle as they had to rely on a Max Gradel stoppage-time penalty to claim a 1-1 draw against Nice at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

All three points looked to be heading back to the south coast courtesy of Mathieu Bodmer's solitary strike, but in the last minute Didier Digard was sent off for a handball in the area and Ivory Coast international Gradel made no mistake from 12 yards.

Bafetimbi Gomis scored his 100th Ligue 1 goal to help Lyon to a hard-fought 2-1 win over 10-man Valenciennes, who remain six points adrift of safety.

The French international gave the hosts the lead before Waris Majeed offered hope for Ariel Jacobs' side with a leveller shortly after the hour mark.

That advantage, though, lasted just a matter of minutes as Jordan Ferri scored his second of the season in some style.