St. Etienne left it late to secure a dramatic 3-2 home win against Clermont Foot 63 in a pulsating second half, which included two stoppage-time goals for the hosts. ‘Les Verts’ had been winless up until this afternoon, after drawing six and losing six in their opening games of the season.
The two sides headed into the game at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard without any spectators in attendance following recent crowd trouble by ‘Les Verts’ supporters, which meant for a subdued atmosphere. The games first real attempt at goal was not recorded until the 20th minute, when Ryad Boudebouz curled a free-kick from the right-hand side wide of the target for the home side. The effort appeared to ignite the team who hit another gear, firing more attempts at the Clermont goal. ‘Les Lanciers’ had a decent spell late in the half, having their best chance of the half in the 41st minute, when Jason Berthomier broke free in the box but failed to connect any meaningful power behind the ball and the effort rolled wide of the goal.
Claude Puel’s St Etienne side were in desperate need of some points to ease their relegation fears. They made a half-time substitute replacing Aïmen Moueffek with Denis Bouanga to try to add a new dimension and secure three points. Sadly, the change didn’t allow the home side to take charge of the second half, and on the hour-mark, Clermont took the lead as Mohamed Bayo latched on to a low-cross from the left-hand side to race ahead and further add to St Etienne’s woes. Moments later, and following a similar move from the left-hand side, Clermont went 2-0 up, as Berthomier hit a left foot strike in the box. St. Etienne didn’t roll over, and hit back in the last 10 minutes of the game, with a strike from Arnaud Nordin. Deep into stoppage the home side hit an incredible quickfire double, with Jean-Phillippe Krasso and Saidou Sow clinching a famous comeback win thanks to assists from Arnaud Nordin.
The victory for St. Etienne see’s them leapfrog FC Metz and come off the bottom of the table onto nine points. Clermont Foot 63 have now recorded a third consecutive defeat, leaving them on 13 points and just one point above the drop zone.