Younes Belhanda's goal 10 minutes from time was enough to secure Montpellier a narrow victory at Evian to move up to sixth in Ligue 1.
Belhanda volleyed home but it was harsh on Evian who had the majority of the openings in the first half and they remain in the relegation zone, third from bottom.
It was the hosts who showed first as an attacking force.
Daniel Wass sent a long ball up to Yannick Sagbo inside the penalty area and he controlled and volleyed right-footed with the ball skimming the post on its way out.
Evian midfielder Cedric Barbosa then pounced on a mistake by Montpellier defender Vitorino Hilton and fired strongly on goal, forcing goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren to go down to block the shot.
Pacal Dupraz's side continued to attack and moments later, Sagbo found Saber Khelifa 25 yards out and the striker took time to compose himself and launched a fierce shot towards goal which took Jourdren two attempts to save.
Montpellier finally had a shot on target just before the half hour when Belhanda released Anthony Mounier at the edge of the area and he fired in a right-footed shot which was blocked by goalkeeper Bertrand Laquait.
Mounier pounced on the rebound but his second effort was also thwarted by the goalkeeper.
After Evian had been more prominent in the first half, it was Montpellier who did most of the attacking after the break.
Daniel Congre found John Utaka at the edge of the area but his shot was deflected away by Wass before the visitors found themselves in a great position to open the scoring.
Marco Estrada instigated a swift counter-attack before finding Emanuel Herrera and he rounded the keeper before putting his cross-shot just wide.
Estrada then found Mounier at an acute angle but his left-footed drive was blocked by Laquait.
However, their pressure paid off just a minute later when Mounier found Belhanda at the far post and he controlled the ball before unleashing a right-footed volley into the net to claim all three points.