ST ETIENNE, March 17 (Ligue 1) - St Etienne revived their European hopes with a win that worsens the relegation plight of Troyes.
Goals from Pascal Feindouno and Batefimbi Gomis put the hosts in charge before Benjamin Nivet's penalty just before the break put Troyes back in the game.
However, Freddy Guarin sealed the win after the break for Les Verts.
St Etienne hit the ground running and took the lead in just the second minute.
Some slack defending from Troyes allowed Feindouno to try his luck with a volley which was too good for goalkeeper Ronan Le Crom.
The visitors came close to equalising after five minutes when Yann Lachuer's cross found the head of Blaise Matuidi who missed from point-blank range.
After 17 minutes it was 2-0 and it was a superb goal from Gomis who has been the revelation of the season for Les Verts.
Gomis won the ball in midfield and launched a solo run before sliding his shot past Le Crom.
Damien Perquis almost made it 3-0 after 20 minutes but his volley was just past the post.
Another fine home move saw Feindouno set up Araujo Ilan whose shot missed by inches.
Troyes pulled one back three minutes before the break when Vincent Hognon fouled Zied Jaziri.
Nivet sent Jeremie Janot the wrong way from the spot.
However, just four minutes into the second half St Etienne struck again.
It was Guarin who scored with a run and shot that went just inside the post.
The hosts poured forward looking for more goals with Julien Sable setting up Gomis but this time the St Etienne player was wayward with his finish.
St Etienne nearly made it 4-1 with an astonishing incident after 76 minutes,
Guarin hit the post and the ball came right back to him but his second shot also rattled the woodwork.