Paris: Monaco gave themselves a massive boost ahead of their Champions League clash at home against Arsenal with a convincing 3-0 victory over nine-men Bastia in Ligue 1 on Friday as Guingamp won 2-1 at Nice.
The Principality side, who have a game in hand, are sitting fourth three points behind third-place Marseille, who take on leaders Lyon on Sunday in the Stade Velodrome.
An Anthony Martial double along with a first-half goal from Brazilian Matheus Carvalho went a long way to consoling Leonardo Jardim`s side who were dumped out of the League Cup by the Corsicans last month.
Bastia fell apart, showing early signs of fatigue after being reduced to nine-men when Drissa Diakite and Giovanni Sio saw red on both sides of the break.
"It was the perfect evening," said Jardim.
"We needed to win to prepare for Arsenal. The team are now confident which is very important for us.
"We had a great match with lots of chances. The Bastia of the League Cup were much more aggressive.
"After the first sending off it was easier for us. We`re just three point off the podium, but now I`ll be focusing on Arsenal."
Monaco, who stunned Arsenal 3-1 in their Champions League last 16 first leg tie at the Emirates, play the English side at home on Tuesday.
And they set the scene in their Louis II Stadium as Martial bagged his third goal of the season after 22 minutes.
Layvin Kurzawa failed to convert a penalty 10 minutes later but Carvalho added a second one just before the break.
The young Brazilian turned passer in the second half when he served Martial in the box allowing the French forward to double his tally six minutes after the break.
Bastia coach Ghislain Printant admitted they were outplayed. "They were largely better than us. At nine we were finished.
"I hope that they play like that on Tuesday. They belong in the top three in the championship."
In the other match of the night, Nice failed to win for the seventh time in a row as Christophe Mandanne scored a double in a 2-1 win by visiting Guingamp.
Guingamp are tenth with Nice fighting the drop zone five place below.
The top three will be in action on Sunday as second-placed Paris Saint-Germain turn their attention back to domestic duties after advancing to the Champions League quarter-finals.
Just a point behind Lyon, the Parisians travel to Bordeaux.