PARIS — Saint-Etienne won 1-0 at former champion Montpellier on Friday to move provisionally into sixth place in the French league.
Forward Max-Alain Gradel turned in a cross from defender Faouzi Ghoulam in the 75th minute after some good approach work from winger Franck Tabanou and Brazilian striker Brandao.
Chances were scarce in a scrappy game.
Montpellier goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren kicked away a volley from Tabanou early on and Montpellier winger Anthony Mounier headed just over from a corner in the 31st minute.
Jourdren saved a shot from winger Benjamin Corgnet shortly after halftime, and Saint-Etienne defender Loic Perrin was relieved to see the ball bounce off the post when he deflected a cross from Remy Cabella midway through the second half.
Struggling Montpellier is one place above the relegation zone.
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