Paris: Teen striker Anthony Martial scored twice as fourth-place Monaco warmed up for its Champions League encounter against Arsenal with a comfortable 3-0 home win Friday against Corsican side Bastia, which finished the match with nine men.
After the 19-year-old Martial put Monaco ahead in the 22nd minute, Bastia's hopes of a comeback were dashed when defender Drissa Diakite was sent off 10 minutes later.
Brazilian forward Matheus Carvalho made it 2-0 shortly before the break and Martial added his second goal in the 51st.
Bastia forward Giovanni Sio was also shown a straight red in the 72nd.
"After the first sending off things became easier for us," Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said. "After a difficult start to the season, Martial is starting to understand my ideas better. He's more attentive, more hard-working."
Monaco, which has a game in hand, is four points ahead of fifth-place Saint-Etienne and three points behind Marseille, which hosts league leader Lyon on Sunday.
In Friday's other match, striker Christophe Mandanne took his season's tally to nine league goals as Guingamp won 2-1 at Nice, which had equalized through midfielder Eric Bautheac.
Monaco hosts Arsenal in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday, and will be confident of reaching the quarterfinals after winning the first leg 3-1 in London. In 2004, Monaco upset the odds to reach the final, knocking out heavy favorite Real Madrid and then Chelsea before losing the final to Jose Mourinho's Porto.
"We played well. We'll try and play the same away against Arsenal," said Martial, whose recent performances have drawn good reviews. "I'm trying to stay focused. I know the coach believes in me and I try to repay that faith in matches."
Jardim rested veteran striker Dimitar Berbatov, who came on midway through the second half and is likely to start against the Gunners.
There could be a shake-up at the top of the league after Sunday's games with second-place PSG — which knocked out Chelsea to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Wednesday — traveling to play sixth-place Bordeaux.
If Marseille wins and PSG loses then Marseille will move into second spot on goal difference, one point behind Lyon. PSG still has to travel to play Marseille this season.
Saturday's games are more low-key, with fifth-place Saint-Etienne hopeful of a win away to last-place Metz. Lens hosts fellow struggler Toulouse; Lorient hosts Normandy side Caen; Montpellier faces Reims and Nantes hosts Evian.
Lille faces Rennes in Sunday's other game.