Hamouma stars as Saint-Etienne thrashes Caen 5-0

PARIS (AP) — Saint-Etienne thrashed Caen 5-0 on Saturday to stay in contention for a European place despite an avalanche of injuries and the absence of suspended players.

The 10-time champion moved up to fifth in the French league, one point behind Marseille, which travels to runaway leader Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.

Without Wahbi Khazri and Mathieu Debuchy among others, Romain Hamouma played a crucial role against his former club and was involved in the three first-half goals. He scored Saint-Etienne’s opener in the fifth minute and then delivered assists for Robert Beric and Arnaud Nordin.

Lamine Ghezali and Valentin Vada were also on the scoresheet.

“They taught us a football lesson,” said Caen captain Faycal Fajr, whose side remained bottom, nine points from safety. “This was our worse game this season.”

Elsewhere, Guingamp secured an important 1-0 win over Dijon in the fight against relegation. The result took the Brittany side to 18th.

Angers was held to a goalless draw by Amiens while Nimes salvaged a 2-2 draw with Strasbourg after Teji Savanier equalized from the spot in stoppage time.