In what turned out to be a rather lifeless first half, the best chance fell to Lyon's Milan Bisevac right on the stroke of half time, as the defender completely missed the ball despite being found with space in the penalty box.
Lyon took hold of the game early on in the second half when Alexandre Lacazette followed up to score with a rebound and put the visitors 1-0 ahead.
However, the home side levelled in the 65th minute through Romain Hamouma, who produced a brilliant overhead kick to turn a cross over the line.
Saint-Etienne almost took the lead in the 71st minute when Loic Perrin headed against the crossbar having remained forward after an attack.
Lyon pushed for a winner late on as Briand crashed a volley towards goal, but luckily for Etienne Stephane Ruffier was able to tip the ball over the bar.
It looked as though Etienne had managed to see out a draw, but Briand popped up in the last minute of injury time to head past Ruffier and steal all three points for his side.