Neither side got things going in the early stages of the match, and there was little emotion throughout the opening 15 minutes. Auxerre had a bigger share of the possession and were comfortable playing the ball around, while Troyes were simply trying to find an opening to push forward on the counter. The home side often decided to cross the ball into the box, and Gauthier Hein had a prominent role in that regard, but the lack of ideas was alarming.
To make things even tougher to watch, both clubs had to make first-half subs due to injuries, as Auxerre lost Gideon Mensah and Troyes had to take Renaud Ripart off the pitch. While both teams had decent possession stretches and Auxerre looked slightly on top, the stalemate was a fair outcome for a boring first half that barely moved the fans at Stade de l'Abbé-Deschamps off their seats.
Auxerre tried to provide a spark in the second half by sending Gaetan Perrin and Nuno da Costa onto the pitch, and the latter made his presence felt right away with his mobility and pace. The visitors had a rough time trying to muster anything even remotely dangerous, and his attacking approaches were limited to just a few isolated runs. As for Rominigue Kouame, he had one of the best chances for Troyes midway through the second half, but his shot towards goal was blocked by one of his teammates.
All signs pointed to this game ending in a boring draw, but Auxerre had other plans and finally broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute through M’Baye Niang, who took advantage of a beautiful assist from Da Costa to coolly slot the ball past Gauthier Gallon. Troyes attempted to push the lines forward in response, but failed to generate any kind of danger near Andrei Radu, ultimately falling to their sixth straight away league defeat in limp fashion at the Stade de l'Abbé-Deschamps, despite a trio of late subs.
At the FT whistle, Auxerre were visibly relieved to have snapped a three-game winless skid (D2, L1), but the points that have bolstered their chances of staying up may well be rendered moot by tomorrow’s Ligue 1 matches involving relegation rivals. Meanwhile, Troyes’ scenario is even more complicated, as they have now gone 12 straight Ligue 1 matches without a win (D3, L9), and might now need a minor miracle to avoid the drop after just two seasons amongst France’s elite.