Saint-Etienne out of relegation zone with 1-0 win over Metz
Sun, Mar 6, 2022
Soccer News (AP)
SAINT-ETIENNE, France (AP) - Denis Bouanga helped Saint-Etienne move out of the relegation zone by scoring in the 1-0 win over Metz in the French league on Sunday.
Both Saint-Etienne and Metz were level on points with bottom side Bordeaux before kickoff.
Saint-Etienne started strong and found the net in the 19th minute when Bouanga headed in a cross from Sada Thioub but the goal was disallowed after a VAR review showed that the Gabon striker had handled the ball.
Metz grew more confident and tested goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni with a tame volley from Louis Mafouta in the 28th. The visitors then nearly capitalized on a goalmouth scramble after Bernardoni flapped at a corner but Metz defender Dylan Bronn had his close-range effort blocked.
In the second half, Bouanga gave Saint-Etienne the lead with an acrobatic volley in the 52nd and later had several opportunities to double the lead. Metz goalkeeper Marc-Aurele Caillard parried Bouanga's angled strike in the 71st before Bouanga flicked Ryad Boudebouz's cross wide in the 72nd. Bouanga also hit the base of the post in the 83rd and had his lob saved by Caillard in the 84th.
Saint-Etienne's form has improved under new manager Pascal Dupraz, racking up 13 points from the last six games.
Dupraz replaced Claude Puel as Saint-Etienne coach in December in a bid to avoid relegation. Saint-Etienne was in last place before Dupraz's appointment.
Saint-Etienne is one of the most prestigious clubs in France, winning 10 French league titles, joint most with Marseille.
The 27th round ends later Wednesday with Bordeaux vs. Troyes, Nantes vs. Montpellier, Reims vs. Strasbourg, Rennes vs. Angers, Lille vs. Clermont, and Marseille vs. Monaco.
On Saturday, Nice stunned runaway leader Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 to move into second place while Brest edged Lens 1-0 to earn its first away win since December and inch closer to safety.
On Friday, Lyon won at Lorient 4-1 to move into sixth place.
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