Saint-Étienne no longer bottom of Ligue 2

AS Saint-Étienne are no longer at the bottom of Ligue 2, after a 1-0 win away at fellow relegation-rivals Chamois Niortais FC last night. Saint-Étienne, one of the most successful clubs in French football, had spent a spell at the bottom of the league after finding it difficult to adapt to France’s second division. Les Verts had been relegated from Ligue 1 at the end of last season after losing their relegation play-off game to newcomers AJ Auxerre.

Gaëtan Charbonnier scored in the 86th minute to bring another three points back to the Alps. After a 1-0 victory at home to Stade Laval last Tuesday, this result represents two consecutive wins in the league for Saint-Étienne. In the space of just over a week, their league position no longer looks so precarious. Now at the halfway point in the season (19 matches of 38), these wins may provide the necessary momentum that could encourage a resurgence from Les Stéphanois.

Last night’s win saw the club leapfrog their opponents Niort to take 18th place in the league, albeit just one point ahead. Both teams spent the majority of the match in a tight push-and-pull, where it looked to be a 0-0 draw. Only after recent newcomer Kader Bamba struck the bar late on did Saint-Étienne have a chance to register three crucial points: Charbonnier was well placed to put the rebound into the back of the net.

Most of Chamois Niortais’s poor league position can be explained by poor results throughout the start of the season. This loss was their first in the league since November.

GFFN | Brendan Cox



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