May 12, 2018 / 10:02 PM / 9 days ago

Soccer - Monaco up to second thanks to Fabinho’s late penalty

PARIS (Reuters) - A last-gap Fabinho penalty earned Monaco a 1-0 home win over St Etienne on Saturday as the principality side moved up to second in Ligue 1 with one game remaining.

Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - AS Monaco vs AS Saint-Etienne - Stade Louis II, Monaco - May 12, 2018 St Etienne's Mathieu Debuchy in action with Monaco's Thomas Lemar REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet

Fabinho found the back of the net from the spot one minute into stoppage-time after Thomas Lemar was brought down by Mathieu Debuchy.

The result put Monaco on to 77 points, two ahead of Olympique Lyonnais who slumped to a last-second 3-2 defeat at Racing Strasbourg, and three ahead of Olympique de Marseille who were held 3-3 at En Avant Guingamp on Friday.

The top two teams qualify for the Champions League group stage while the third-placed side reach the third qualifying round.

Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - AS Monaco vs AS Saint-Etienne - Stade Louis II, Monaco - May 12, 2018 Monaco's Fabinho celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet

Champions Paris St Germain, who have 92 points, had their title celebrations spoiled by visiting Stade Rennais as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at the Parc des Princes, their first in Ligue 1 since March 2016.

Rennes secured fifth place and will play the Europa League next season.

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St Etienne, Girondins de Bordeaux and Nice will battle it out for sixth place and the last Europa League spot in the last round of matches next Saturday.

Italian striker Mario Balotelli, who looks set to leave Nice at the end of the season, shone at the Allianz Riviera, scoring a double in a 4-1 home win against Caen.

Lille saved their place in the elite with a 2-1 home win against Dijon.

In Strasbourg, Lyon seemed en route to virtually secure second place when goals by Nabil Fekir from the penalty spot and Hassem Aouar had put them 2-1 up against the hosts, who had opened the scoring in the first half through Stephane Bahoken.

But an 88th-minute goal by Nuna Da Costa and a superb free kick by Dimitri Lienard four minutes into injury time gave Strasbourg all three points as the Alsace club saved their place in the top flight.

Monaco made the most of Lyon’s defeat in the closing stages at Louis II when Fabinho netted his seventh Ligue 1 goal this season with a penalty.

PSG, who were handed the Ligue 1 champions trophy at home, were never in the mix against Rennes, who prevailed thanks to goals by Benjamin Bourigeaud and Adrien Hunou after the break.

Reporting by Julien Pretot, Editing by Ed Osmond/Gene Cherry

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