Sunday, February 25, 2018

St Etienne on top of French football after 29 years

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 18 Sep 2010


St Etienne went top of the French first division for the first time in 29 years on Saturday after a 3-0 win over Montpellier.

The win maintained their unbeaten start to the season and allowed them to nip ahead of previous leaders Toulouse, who drew 0-0 at Monaco, on goal difference.

Dimitri Payet grabbed two of the goals to take his season’s tally to six.

He opened the scoring in the 21st minute after taking the ball around defender Abdelhamid El Kaoutari and goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourden.

He added the third in the 65th minute after reacting quickest to a free-kick which had come back off a post.

In between, Emmanuel Riviere grabbed the second by heading in a left wing cross from Bakary Sako which had been badly misjudged by El Kaoutari.

The victory also set up St Etienne for their eagerly-awaited derby clash with Lyon next weekend.

That will be the teams’ 100th meeting with the Greens not having won since 1993.

Sochaux were the night’s biggest winners seeing off Nice 4-0 to move into fifth spot with Ideye Brown, Ryad Boudebouz, Marvin Martin and Modibo Maiga all on target in the second half.

Caen are fourth after a 1-0 away win against Lorient with Youssef El Arabi scoring for the fourth time this season.

Later Saturday, champions Marseille, who are eight points off the lead, travel to promoted Arles-Avignon who have lost all five matches this season.


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