International Soccer

Montpellier tops Sochaux to ease relegation fears

Montbeliard, France ( - Montpellier collected its first away win of the season on Saturday and moved four points clear of the relegation zone in the process, topping 19th-place Sochaux, 2-0.

Anthony Mounier struck first for Montpellier in the 19th minute, and after Sochaux was reduced to 10 men because of a 35th-minute red card to Nathan Sinkala, Siaka Tiene added a second goal 15 minutes from time to secure the win.

The result leaves Sochaux 10 points from safety, and with just two wins so far this season, it is difficult to see the club mounting a serious push to avoid the drop.

Montpellier started Saturday's match in a positive mood and nearly took the lead when Morgan Sanson saw his shot crash against the post after 16 minutes.

But Mounier was on target three minutes later for the visitors when he collected a ball from Remy Cabella and beat goalkeeper Pierrick Cros.

The task became more difficult for Sochaux in the 35th when Sinkala was booked for the second time after a poor tackle on Montpellier's Sanson.

Cros did well to keep his team within a goal, but with just 10 men Sochaux couldn't offer much going forward and Montpellier sealed the win through Tiene, who beat the goalkeeper at his near post after being set up by Souleymane Camara.

Last-place Ajaccio sustained a 2-0 defeat at Nice courtesy of goals from Christian Bruls and Dario Cvitanich, while Evian and Rennes battled to a 0-0 draw with both teams remaining in the bottom half of Ligue 1.

Adama Ba's 42nd-minute goal was enough to lead Bastia past Bordeaux, 1-0, Lorient climbed into the top half of the league after a 2-0 victory over Guingamp with first-half goals from Yann Jouffre and Kevin Monnet-Paquet, and Marseille had its match with Valenciennes postponed due to heavy rain.

01/18 17:04:25 ET