Fabinho's unerring ability to score penalties ensured Monaco netted in stoppage-time to beat Saint-Etienne 1-0 and climb to second place in the table.
AS Monaco 1-0 AS Saint-Etienne
Fabinho has scored all 17 penalties he has taken for Monaco in Ligue 1 Conforama and three big points went Monaco's way thanks to the Brazilian's calmness from the spot. Saint-Etienne's hopes of a top-six finish and European qualification suffered a major blow here and they'll need many things to go their way on the final day to leap above Bordeaux and Nice.
The first half was a decent watch yet saw only one effort on target as Gabriel Silva (29') cut onto his right foot and fired in a shot that was saved by Danijel Subasic. Two minutes before the break visiting captain Loïc Perrin's shot deflected off Fabinho and was close to dropping under Subasic's bar. Stéphane Ruffier (58') made a terrific stop with his left foot to keep out Rony Lopes and then Subasic was called into action to deny Rémy Cabella (62') and Jonathan Bamba (66').
Beaten by Bordeaux in Week 36, Saint-Etienne were keen to get back to winning ways but they were grateful to Bamba for clearing a Jemerson header off the line (71'), before Ruffier did excellently (83') to keep out a Thomas Lemar free-kick and then a pointblank Moussa Sylla effort.
With Radamel Falcao an unused sub, Monaco took the spoils thanks to late drama. Mathieu Debuchy knocked Lemar off balance and Benoît Bastien pointed to the spot. Fabinho deceived Ruffier and Monaco scored their fourth home win in five over Saint-Etienne. Monaco's Rachid Ghezzal was sent off for arguing with the referee after the full-time whistle had gone.
THE PLAYER: Fabinho
Fabinho had contributed a goal and an assist when Monaco won 4-0 at ASSE in Week 18 and was again a crucial figure. With Falcao not 100% fit, Monaco really needed one of their mainstays to come up with the goods and Fabinho turned out to be the much-needed matchwinner.
THE STAT: 14
Saint-Etienne had scored in 14 consecutive Ligue 1 Conforama games before firing blanks in the principality.