Tue, Dec 02, 2014 - Page 18 News List

AS Saint-Etienne crush their local rivals Lyon 3-0


AS Saint-Etienne’s Kevin Theophile-Catherine, center, vies for the ball with Samuel Umtiti, right, and goalkeeper Anthony Lopes of Olympique Lyonnais in their Ligue 1 match at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Etienne, France, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

AS Saint-Etienne ended a run of five straight draws with a convincing 3-0 win against third-placed Olympique Lyonnais in Ligue 1 on Sunday to move within one point of their bitter local rivals.

Ivory Coast winger Max-Alain Gradel set up goals for defender Moustapha Sall in the 18th minute and Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel in the 40th, before midfielder Renaud Cohade added a third midway through the second half.

The win put fifth-placed Saint-Etienne one point behind Girondins de Bordeaux and Lyon, who lead Bordeaux on goal-difference.

“We’re a bit stunned by this non-performance,” Lyon coach Hubert Fournier said. “It’s very disappointing. We just weren’t there in terms of commitment.”

The match opposed two of France’s most successful teams on the domestic front with 17 league titles between them — 10 for Saint-Etienne, while Lyon won seven straight titles before Bordeaux ended their reign in the 2008-2009 season — but it was all Saint-Etienne at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

“Saint-Etienne were stronger in the challenge and we paid heavily for it. They deserved to win,” Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons said. “We have to get back to work quickly.”

Gradel almost set up a third goal at the start of the second half as defender Loic Perrin headed his free-kick against the crossbar, before Gradel went close to scoring with an hour played when his long-range shot was saved by Anthony Lopes.

Cohade scored in the 68th minute when he profited from a huge blunder by Lyon midfielder Corentin Tolisso and beat Lopes with a low drive.

Lyon missed the chance to pull a goal back after top scorer Alexandre Lacazete missed a penalty in the 78th minute.

Earlier, Girondins de Bordeaux beat LOSC Lille Metropole 1-0 thanks to Mali striker Cheick Diabate’s sixth goal of the season.

Winger Nicolas Maurice-Belay broke down the right in the 62nd minute and, with defender David Rozehnal slow to cover him, picked out Diabate near the penalty spot.

In the first half, midfielder Thomas Toure hit the post for Bordeaux, while Lille forward Nolan Roux’s effort was saved by goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso.

“I was pleased with our performance, particularly in defense,” Bordeaux coach Willy Sagnol said. “Aside from the clean sheet itself, we eradicated some mistakes that have been creeping into our game recently.”

Evian Thonon Gaillard earned a welcome win in their relegation fight by beating fellow strugglers En Avant de Guingamp 2-0, thanks to a free-kick from Denmark midfielder Daniel Wass and a tap-in from countryman Nicki Bille Nielsen.

After being fouled, Wass found the top-right corner with a clean, swerving long-range strike with the inside of his foot.

Despite playing for a lowly club, Wass has scored six league goals in 13 games so far this season. He got nine last term.

“Wass is exceptional and I’ve known that for a long time,” Evian Thonon Gaillard coach Pascal Dupraz said.

Terrible defending by Guingamp led to the second goal in the 81st minute.

Winger Adrien Thomasson crossed from the left and the defense left it for goalkeeper Jonas Lossl to deal with, but he had not come off his line and Nielsen had time to pick his spot.

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