The Stéphanois have not yet spoken their last word. Humiliated by Lorient (6-2) last weekend, AS Saint-Étienne responded perfectly this Saturday afternoon by beating Brest (2-1) at home. Led by a goal from Franck Honorat from the 7th minute of the game, the Greens found the necessary resources to turn the game around thanks to two corner kicks from their defender Mahdi Camara (14th and 38th). Pascal Dupraz’s players, who win in Ligue 1 for the seventh time this season, are temporarily outside the red zone.
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Ridiculed within five days by Marseille (2-4) and then by Lorient (6-2), AS Saint-Étienne approached a turning point in its Geoffroy-Guichard season on the occasion of welcoming the Stade Brestois this Saturday after noon. With seven days to go in the league, the Greens now knew they were doomed to a win they had tasted just once in their last five Ligue 1 games (vs Metz, 1-0) and Moustoir, Pascal Dupraz had for that meeting made several powerful decisions on day 32. Starting with the demotion to the bench of his vice-captain Timothée Kolodziejczak and his defensive friend Harold Moukoudi.
Camara makes amends
Risky on paper, the bet on founding the duo Abdoulaye Bakayoko and Gabriel Silva finally paid off. The surprise from the 7th minute with a furious acceleration by Franck Honorat, which ended with a clear goal from the Breton striker, subsequently proved to be completely impervious to Brest’s offensive. Pressed by a cauldron that was not full, but was still well filled, the Greens equalized initially through Mahdi Camara (14th), the ASSE midfielder headed in a corner perfectly executed by Denis Bouanga. Retired from the pro group last week due to disciplinary issues, the Forez Club-trained player is heartily forgiven. Pascal Dupraz’s men, who returned to their host of the day in just seven minutes, had to wait almost half an hour to finally gain the upper hand over the Bretons.
Stéphanois was defeated several times (Khazri in the 25th and Bouanga in the 28th) by a very good Marco Bizot but managed to fool the vigilance of the Breton keeper a second time in the 38th minute, Mahdi Camara capitalizing on a new advantage Corner from Denis Bouanga and a failed intervention from Haris Belkebla to double a not very academic recovery from the chest. Thanks to a spectacular turnaround in the situation in front of the goal (2:1), the Greens then understood that not much could happen to them in this encounter. Overwhelmed by an enchanted Saint-Etienne crowd who reacted so proudly after two indigestible blows against Marseille and Lorient, Whabi Khazri’s teammates began to manage their fragile lead, not forgetting to place a few counterattacks during a second act, which were perfectly sealed.
Twice within a minute, Arnaud Nordin (68′) and Ryad Boudebouz (69′) stumbled over an exceptional Marco Bizot, but the Greens lost almost everything in the final moments, Brest tried everything to get around to grab the balance. First, Mickael Nadé saved in an offensive poorly negotiated by Franck Honorat (87′), the Stéphanois then escaped worst of all on an angry cross header from Christophe Hérelle (90′ + 4) after an excellent cross from Julien Faussurier. Unfortunately for the Bretons, Paul Bernardoni kept his eye on the grain and fended off the threat of a glorious horizontal that would spell the end of last hopes for Michel Der Zakarian’s men.
AS Saint-Étienne thus claimed their seventh Ligue 1 win, allowing them to temporarily leave the red zone and steal seventeenth place in the table from Clermont (with 30 points, against 28 units for Clermont). Logically defeated by Stéphanois, who was more realistic and defensively solid, Stade Brestois recorded his thirteenth setback of the season and missed the opportunity to get closer to Montpellier (11th).
Denis Bouanga (Saint-Étienne) vs Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel (Brest), Saturday 16 April 2022. / Ligue 1
Photo credit: Getty Images
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