Bocaly strike enough to sink Bordeaux
Garry Bocaly grabbed the only goal of the game as Montpellier beat Bordeaux 1-0 on Sunday to hand Jean Tigana a defeat for his first match in charge of Les Girondins.
Sunday 8 August 2010
Montpellier Hérault SC / Girondins de Bordeaux : 1 - 0
The former French international has been given the task of reinvigorating a squad that stagnated in the second half of last season, and had gone through pre-season unbeaten. However, with his number one goalkeeper and virtually his entire first-choice back four absent through suspension, Tigana saw his team succumb to Bocaly's header two minutes after the break as René Girard's men made a positive start.
Montpellier surprised the Ligue 1 established élite last season, and despite the summer departures of Alberto Costa and Victor Hugo Montano, they showed their determination to do so again in a sprightly opening.
Olivier Giroud, drafted in to replace last season's leading scorer Montano, will play a key role if they manage to once again defy the odds, and the ex-Tours striker almost gave his side an early lead but could only direct his header over the bar with Kevin Olimpa a spectator in the visitors' goal.
However, it was the single member of Bordeaux's habitual back line, Benoît Trémoulinas, who came closest to opening the scoring in a bright first 15 minutes - the left-back, freshly called into the French national squad by ex-coach Laurent Blanc, seeing a shot deflected onto Geoffrey Jourdren's right-hand post after he had latched onto Romain Pitau's weak clearance.
Usually so solid and sure, it was a rare lapse from the experienced midfielder, and Pitau recovered his focus to fire a shot goalwards that was deflected narrowly wide by Alou Diarra before an excellent flying stop from Olimpa denied Marco Estrada a debut goal as the hosts pressed.
The breakthrough would come after the interval, though. Estrada's quality at set-pieces will likely prove a real plus for Montpellier this season, and the new arrival's pacy delivery from a free-kick found Bocaly on the move, and he flicked a header past Olimpa.
Bordeaux attempted to respond and Yoann Gourcuff forced Jourdren into a fine stop with his feet, but the absence of Marouane Chamakh - departed for Arsenal this summer - was keenly felt as Les Girondins lacked presence in the box.
Set-pieces have been a fruitful source of goals in recent seasons, and Wendel's driven free-kick saw Ludovic Sané head narrowly wide, but it was destined to be a disappointing premiere for Tigana as Montpellier held out.