Metz sinks Saint-Étienne, penultimate in Ligue 2

Beautiful poster between two former Ligue 1 players, this Metz – Saint-Étienne seemed more like a scary match. The Garnets, thirteenth at kick-off, received the Greens in the nineteenth, but just four points behind. A tie, therefore, would not have satisfied anyone, and this accounting reality ended on the lawn of Saint-Symphorien, this Monday. After a festival of opportunities on both sides, Metz was more effective and won (3-2).

Disjointed, even illegible, this part can still be segmented. During the first twenty minutes, Laszlo Bölöni’s men dominated the impact. Preferred to Ibrahima Niane, Cheick Sabaly headed the ball from the penalty spot, finishing just over the crossbar (6th). Not surprisingly, ASSE ended up cracking at the end of this first highlight. On a corner kick from the right by Fali Candé, Jean-Philippe Krasso unscrewed his clearance with his left foot, directly under the crossbar by Matthieu Dreyer (1-0, 18).

Krasso Bounce, Udol Mastery

Annoyed, the Greens’ Ivorian striker went on the attack. Pushed for the first time in a duel in midfield, Saint-Etienne’s top scorer in Ligue 2 this season (8 goals) got up to send a jewel of the ball deep to Ibrahima Wadji, who easily beat Alexandre Oukidja (1-1, 24e).

But, as at the start of the match, the Greens fell back, suffering new waves of Messin. A number from Sabaly in the area (37th), another from Matthieu Udol (38th) and, finally, the punishment. Served by the inevitable Sabaly, Ablie Jallow took charge with a header from the penalty spot, before colliding with Dreyer. Fortunately for FC Metz, Kévin N’Doram stayed on the penalty spot to finish (2-1, 39th).

However, dominant in the second half (60% possession of the ball, eleven shots on three), the Stéphanois struggled for a long time to come from behind. Wadji, who was already close to fooling Oukidja (49th), had his goal disallowed (69th) for a foul on Candé. Benjamin Bouchouari (53rd, 76th) also failed in the face of sometimes miraculous returns from the opposing defence. Matthieu Udol is in charge of punishing, once again. After an overflow down the left wing, the captain stunned Dreyer with a superb shot from the right (3-1, 60th). It wasn’t until 90+4 that Mickaël Nadé closed the gap, with a good sequence in the area (3-2).

In the standings, Metz breathes after three games without a win (one draw, two losses), climbing to eleventh position, four points ahead of the red zone, and seven ahead of ASSE, nineteenth. The Greens are ahead of Niort, the red lantern, only on goal difference. Laurent Batlles and his team have only won one of their last seven games in all competitions (one win, one draw, five losses).

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