Saint Etienne's Christophe Galtier has warned his team 'the road is still long' after they drew within three points of third-placed Lille.
A six-minute blitz early in the second half saw Saint Etienne defeat Lille 2-0 on Friday to strengthen their hold on fourth spot in Ligue 1 and move within a win of the northerners in third.
Brandao gave the hosts the lead in the 55th minute when he was allowed to ghost in at the back post to head the ball home before Franck Tabanou took advantage of more sloppy defending from Lille six minutes later to make it 2-0.
Having watched Cannes dump his side from the Coupe de France on Tuesday, Saint Etienne coach Galtier was relieved to see them respond at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
"In the second half, opening the scoring, we had a huge advantage," the 47-year-old said.
"Tonight, the team that wanted the most, won.
"This is a beautiful performance... their courage, we were able to force things. My players were rewarded for their efforts.
"We have reduced the gap with Lille but the road is still long. Everyone should keep a cool head. I will be the guarantor of that mindset."
Saint Etienne moved to 37 points with their 11th win of the season, while Lille (40 points) completed their third league fixture without a win and could finish the weekend 10 points off top spot if Paris Saint-Germain defeat Nantes on Sunday.
Lille coach Rene Girard bemoaned his team's lack of focus early in the second half but refused to excuse his players for fatigue after playing three games in the space of 13 days.
"We played an hour during which we put this team, Etienne, (through) difficulties," Girard said.
"We then turned off after conceding the first goal.
"We will now try to solve it together with the players. I did not sense any physical problems."
Girard also conceded he was frustrated to see Florent Balmont sent off as the Lille midfielder protested what he saw as a foul by Tabanou on Djibril Sidibe in the lead-up to Saint Etienne's second goal.
"The red card received by Florent Balmont? He protested a little harder after the second goal where a foul has been committed on Djibril," the 59-year-old coach said.
"Whatever the outcome, it is still annoying to lose a player like him framework during a match."
|Coach: C. Galtier|
for Brandão 87'
for F. Lemoine 89'
|Inzaghi finds positives in lacklustre display|
|Eredivisie Review: AZ move third, Propper fires Vitesse to victory|
|Chievo 0 Milan 0: Pressure back on Inzaghi|
|Bundesliga Review: Derby win for Dortmund superheroes, Leverkusen go fourth|
|Ligue 1 Review: Lyon loss leaves door open for PSG|
|Bueno nets perfect hat-trick in four-goal spree for Rayo|
|Carver impressed with Newcastle´s fighting spirit|
|Van Gaal explains Di Maria decision|
|Luis Enrique angered by Granada pitch|
|Sherwood confident of Villa survival|
|Referee East says ´no mistaken identity´ as Poyet pledges to look again|
|League One Review: Robertson and Johnson off to winning starts, Bristol City go eight clear|
|Bruce angered by missed decision|
|Berahino can be ´top class´ - Pulis|
|Grateful Gutierrez thanks ´special´ fans|
|Monk targets Swansea points record|
|Klopp´s ´perfect´ afternoon|
|Victory soured by Ireland injury, says Hughes|
|Championship Review: Middlesbrough´s opportunity missed as Derby are defeated|
|Koeman: I am realistic on Champions League|
|League Two Review: Burton beaten again, Hartlepool gain welcome lift|
|´Triple punishment´ rule could be scrapped|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Inverness slip up as strugglers prosper|
|Mancini wary of Fiorentina quality|
|Hearts attack hits double figures in Scotland|
|West Brom 1 Southampton 0: Berahino wins it, then limps off|
|Manchester United 2 Sunderland 0: Rooney at the double amid red card controversy|
|Newcastle United 1 Aston Villa 0: Cisse strike downs visitors|
|Stoke City 1 Hull City 0: Super sub Crouch secures win|
|Granada 1 Barcelona 3: Suarez inspires routine win|
|Burnley 0 Swansea City 1: Trippier own goal proves decisive|
|Borussia Dortmund 3 Schalke 0: Late show seals dominant derby win|
|Referee Dowd fails to make it through West Brom, Saints clash|
|Allardyce ´shocked´ after home loss|
|Pardew lauds Murray after ´mixed afternoon´ for striker|
|West Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3: Pardew enjoys more away-day success|
|Blanc: PSG prepared for confident Monaco|
|Ancelotti: Isco place is non-negotiable|
|Pellegrini out to end dismal record at Anfield|
|Roma v Juventus: Matri eyes glory in title tussle|
|Martinez wary of wounded Arsenal|
|A-League Review: Spectacular Sydney derby the highlight|
|Perez to testify in corruption case|
|Bentaleb determined to avoid European hangover|
|Liverpool cannot dwell on Europa exit, says Rodgers|
|Marquinhos welcomes Manchester United interest|
|Tottenham must be ´nearly perfect´ to beat Chelsea - Pochettino|
|Bielsa: I take responsibility|
|League Cup final ´most important´ for Mourinho|
|Rodgers unsure if European exit will be a blessing|
|Vitoria Guimaraes 1 Maritimo 0: Hosts end winless run|
|Guardiola satisfied with Cologne victory|
|Espanyol 1 Cordoba 0: Abraham goal secures the points|
|Marseille 2 Caen 3: Hosts throw lead away yet again|
|Bayern Munich 4 Cologne 1: Champions move 11 points clear|
|Dordrecht 2 Go Ahead Eagles 1: Klaiber leaves it late|
|Luis Enrique laments English ´campaign´ over Suarez|
|Atletico Madrid v Sevilla: Champions attempt to bounce back|
|De Gea dismisses ´lies´ about Van Gaal relationship|
|Monaco v Paris Saint-Germain: Jardim wants no Champions League distractions|
|Inter v Fiorentina: Both sides on a high after Europa League success|
|Real Madrid v Villarreal: Ancelotti´s side looking to keep chasing pack at bay|
|Arsenal v Everton: Hurting Wenger calls for immediate response|
|Hull and Panathinaikos among four clubs pay FFP fines|
|Liverpool v Manchester City: Champions eye long-awaited Anfield success|
|Lucas Moura out for at least four weeks|
|Chelsea v Tottenham: Mourinho´s men channel spirit of 2005|
|Loan move to Ipswich an easy decision for Wood|
|Qatar World Cup final no later than December 18 - Blatter|
|Martinez excited by Kiev draw|
|Dynamo face disciplinary hearing after crowd trouble|
|Hughes close on signing new Stoke deal|
|Parma game called off again|
|De Boer to stay at Ajax|
|Arnesen backs Vieira as potential future City director of football|
|Mourinho has no fears over Wembley referee|
|Van Persie absent for Sunderland clash|
|Mason hoping to relive 2008 at League Cup final|
|Fiorentina and Roma to meet in Europa League|
|Inter finalise Felipe swoop|
|Poyet delighted to have ´contagious´ Cattermole back|
|Melbourne City 3 Adelaide United 1: Baharudin triggers crucial comeback|
|Chelsea can cope with Matic absence - Terry|
|Mancini: I tried to take Guarin to Galatasaray|
|Wilshere undergoes ankle procedure|
|Bruce: Most Championship clubs would struggle with FFP|
|Henry would say yes to Arsenal job|
|Mignolet backs ´devastated´ Liverpool to regroup|
|Tiote looks set to miss the rest of the season|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Osvaldo scores for Boca, Internacional win|
|Alajuelense 5 DC United 2: Costa Ricans set for semis|
|Besiktas settled score with Liverpool - Cenk|
|Montella: Hard to keep Salah|
|Martinez salutes Everton´s qualification|
|Europa League games marred by crowd trouble|