Monaco coasted at struggling Saint-Etienne to a 4-0 win and moved to one point behind French defending champion Paris Saint-Germain and title rival Lyon, ahead of their clash this weekend.
Monaco, which has lost only once in 17 games, remains a title contender.
Lyon and PSG are level on points, with PSG second on goal difference.
Stevan Jovetic was given a rare start for Monaco as star striker Wissam Ben Yedder was rested.
The lively Jovetic hit the crossbar with a 20-meter shot, smacked the post from the penalty spot, and put Monaco ahead with a crisp low shot — all inside the first 13 minutes.
Monaco doubled its lead in the 55th when central midfielder Aleksandr Golovin blasted home from just inside the penalty area following Russia midfielder Aleksandr Golovin's astute pass from the right.
Midfielder Sofiane Diop scored the pick of the goals in the 65th, showing great awareness to intercept a pass in midfield, sprint forward, and expertly lob the goalkeeper.
Striker Krepin Diatta wrapped it up in the 76th against Saint-Etienne, whose coach Claude Puel spent his entire 600-game playing career as a gritty midfielder with Monaco.
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