Ligue 1 Roundup: Red cards galore as Clermont and Toulouse claim victories

Ligue 1 Roundup: Red cards galore as Clermont and Toulouse claim victories
Toulouse emphatically dispatched of Montpellier
Toulouse emphatically dispatched of Montpellier
There were three red cards in four matches in Ligue 1, as Toulouse secured an emphatic win against Montpellier, Ajaccio succumbed to a fourth consecutive home defeat to Clermont, while Troyes and Reims, and Auxerre and Brest played out draws.

Ajaccio - Clermont 1-3

AC Ajaccio suffered a fourth consecutive defeat at home for the first time in Ligue 1 as two late goals from Clermont Foot 63 handed them a 3-1 victory at the Stade François Coty.

In what was the first-ever top-flight meeting between the sides, Ajaccio were looking to secure successive Ligue 1 victories for the first time since February 2013 following their win against Stade Brestois 29 last time out. Clermont, meanwhile, were looking for a response to their disappointing defeat to ES Troyes AC before the international break. The previous meetings between the teams didn’t promise an action-packed first half, with five of the last six league H2Hs being goalless at HT. However, striker Grejohn Kyei ensured that this match would buck the trend as he timed his jump to perfection to direct Johan Gastien’s cross into the net with a superb bicycle kick from inside the area to give the visitors an early lead.

The remainder of the half was a struggle for both teams. Yanis Cimignani’s shot from distance called Mory Diaw into action, but it was straight at the Clermont Foot goalkeeper and he was able to make a comfortable save. The hosts grew into the half, with Les Lanciers unable to build on their early goal, but their quality in the final third wasn’t up to scratch.

See all the match stats here.

Chasing an equaliser in the second half, L'ours went close when Riad Nouri’s cross into the area found Clément Vidal, but his header flew just wide of the left post. Less than 10 minutes later though, Cédric Avinel scored at the back post to give the hosts a deserved leveller. The game appeared to be heading towards a draw, but a dramatic finish saw the visitors, who hadn’t looked like scoring again, find the net twice with just minutes remaining to secure the win. Elbasan Rashani and Jodel Dossou were on target to give Pascal Gastien’s side an unlikely three points.

The result keeps AC Ajaccio at the bottom of Ligue 1, while Clermont Foot 63 climb two places to ninth following this late show.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Elbasan Rashani (Clermont Foot 63)

Auxerre - Brest 1-1

AJ Auxerre rescued a point with a late M'Baye Niang penalty, to deny Stade Brestois 29 the chance to put one over their former manager Jean-Marc Furlan. It leaves the away side with just one win from their previous 12 Ligue 1 matches.

After a forgettable opening 20 minutes that featured no shots and zero corners, the hosts finally showed some life, as Lassine Sinayoko blasted a half volley against the bar with Marco Bizot completely beaten in the Brest goal. The one-way action towards Bizot’s goal persisted for the remainder of the first half, although the Dutchman was rarely called into action, despite the menacing attacking prowess of Sinayoko and the excellent movement of Nuno da Costa.

The away side’s solitary moment of promise came late in the first half, when Jérémy Le Douaron skipped beyond two Auxerre defenders, but his shot was eventually blocked. In truth, it had been a scrappy, ill-disciplined first half, and it would be an innocuous challenge that would change the course of the game after a much-needed HT interval.

See all the match stats here.

Julian Janvier was already on a booking when he received a soft yellow card for a foul on the halfway line, and Michel Der Zakarian’s men were suddenly handed an unlikely advantage. They made it count 10 minutes later, when a corner broke kindly to Islam Slimani, and the Algerian’s low shot dribbled under Benoît Costil’s hand to put Les Pirates within touching distance of a rare victory.

Auxerre struggled to respond due to their man disadvantage, but a penalty gifted M'Baye Niang the chance to equalise from the penalty spot. The Senegalese forward kept his cool after a lengthy delay, and calmly slotted home to save his team from a fifth consecutive league loss.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Pierre Lees-Melou (Stade Brestois 29)

Toulouse - Montpellier 4-2

Toulouse saw out a convincing 4-2 win against Montpellier to end a run of 1 win in 6 league games (D1, L4). Montpellier have now lost 8 of their last 9 games on their travels, despite the victory being a 7-0 victory over Brest.

Montpellier took the lead from the first attempts of the game, as Maxime Dupé denied Wahbi Khazri a stunning goal from a volley only for Nicolas Cozza to smash home the rebound from close range. Toulouse replied just ten minutes later, as Stijn Spierings was in the right place at the far post to tap in after a corner from Nares Chaibi was flicked on at the near post.

Toulouse used the momentum their equaliser gave them to their advantage and took the lead just a matter of minutes later, as Zakaria Aboukhlal brought down an exquisite ball over the top from Branco van den Boomen, before calmly slotting beyond Bingourou Kamara in the Montpellier goal. Things got even better for Toulouse just after the half hour mark as they doubled their lead, as Chaibi rifled home a stunning goal into the top corner from a van den Boomen layoff.

See all the match stats here.

Toulouse added their fourth just after the restart, as Brecht Dejaegere slotted into the bottom corner after receiving the ball from Aboukhlal. Toulouse were reduced to ten men, as Mikkel Desler was shown a second yellow card of the game for a bad foul. Montpellier pulled a goal back, as Elye Wahi finished off a swift move with a low curling effort to give his side hope.

La Paillade went close with ten minutes remaining, as Enzo Tchato curled an effort just wide from the edge of the area. Montpellier continued to try and force their back into the game late on but a good chance went begging, as Stephy Mavididi hit his shot from just outside the area over the bar. Toulouse saw out the game for a convincing win and three points that see them climb up to 12th in the table, meanwhile Montpellier fall to 10th.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Zakaria Aboukhlal (Toulouse)

Troyes - Reims 2-2

Jackson Porozo scored a late equaliser to extend Reims winless run to 12 at Stade de l'Aube and to deny the Red Whites a first-ever away win at Troyes with a 2-2 draw.

Following a mini two-match unbeaten run at home, Troyes were hoping to keep the good times rolling as ESTAC returned to Stade de l'Aube for the first time in nearly a month. However, despite their recent positivity, Troyes’ defensive frailties showed early on again as the hosts concede first for the seventh time this season after Junya Ito dribbled into the area and fired a low pass across goal that Folarin Balogun fired in from six yards to give Reims an early lead.

Holding on to a slender advantage was going to prove a tough test for a Reims side that failed to keep a clean sheet in 14 previous league matches. But the Red and Whites soaked up the inevitable Troyes response as the visitors held firm and limited their opponents to ambitious crosses and through balls.

See all the match stats here.

Troyes then had to dig deep to show the same fighting spirit that led to a 3-1 comeback win at Clermont last time. ESTAC were gifted an early goal in the second period when Reims goalkeeper Yehvann Diouf took a heavy touch in his own area and gave the ball straight to Wilson Odobert, who took full advantage and tapped into the empty net. After failing to score in their previous two, Reims suddenly found some attacking form as Ito turned goalscorer minutes later by lashing in Alexis Flips' teasing cross. But, with adrenaline running high, Ito was sent off shortly after his strike for a dangerous, high challenge on Porozo.

Denying Reims a first win in four matches was going to take a monumental Troyes effort and the hosts once again struggled to break down the stubborn Red and Whites defence until Porozo tapped in from close range to sink the Red and Whites rearguard. Bruno Irles’ Troyes will be relieved his side managed to salvage a point, despite their lack of creativity. In contrast, Reims were much improved at both ends of the pitch following a 3-0 loss at Monaco, but the late goal ultimately extends the Red Whites’ winless run to four.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Jackson Porozo (Troyes)


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