St Etienne Go Above Lyon Into Third Following Evian Win

by
Reuters
A late own goal by Evian Thonon Gaillard goalkeeper Bertrand Laquait helped St Etienne to a 1-0 win which moved them provisionally into third position in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Bertrand Laquait

A late own goal by Evian Thonon Gaillard goalkeeper Bertrand Laquait helped St Etienne to a 1-0 win which moved them provisionally into third position in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Keeper Laquait deflected a Romain Hamouma header into his own net in the 77th minute as Les Verts leapfrogged arch rivals Olympique Lyon on goal difference with seven matches remaining.

Lyon will reclaim third place, which qualifies for the Champions League third preliminary round, if they avoid defeat at Stade Reims later on Sunday (1500 GMT).

St Etienne, who are unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions in 2013, dominated possession throughout but increased the pressure until Laquait was forced into his costly mistake after Hamouma's header from a Francois Clerc cross.

St Etienne have 53 points with a goal difference of +26 compared to Lyon's +17.

"We won because we never gave up," St Etienne coach Christophe Galtier told a news conference.

"But if we wanted to win we first needed not to concede any goal and we defended well. The most important thing was to keep our rivals at bay."

Evian have a tough task on their hands as they dropped to 17th on 31 points only one point above safety.

On Saturday, Paris St Germain restored a seven-point lead at the top over second-placed Olympique Marseille with a 2-0 win at Stade Rennes.

Later on Sunday (1900), sixth-placed Lille will continue their bid for a European place when they host Lorient.