Cabella debut goal cancelled out
By D. Crossan
Rémy Cabella was on for a dream Saint-Etienne debut but his first-minute goal was soon cancelled out by Thomas Mangani as Angers took a 1-1 draw from a match both sides finished with ten men.
ASSE's 100% record had been broken at Paris Saint-Germain prior to the international break, though Les Verts began supremely confidently here. Loïs Diony found Cabella, who played a one-two with Vincent Pajot before a fine curling finish beyond Alexandre Letellier.
The lead didn't last long as Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel was penalised for handball in the box and Thomas Mangani converted from the spot, the ball going under Stéphane Ruffier's body.
Ruffier made an exceptional stop five minutes later, turning an Angelo Fulgini shot onto the crossbar. The woodwork again saved Oscar Garcia's side when Mangani's missile crashed against the bar with Ruffier well beaten.
Angers were dominant now and just after half-time Pajot was sent off for clattering into Letellier. Angers couldn't take advantage of their extra man, though they were unfortunate when Baptiste Santamaria hit the post just beyond the hour.
Enzo Crivelli had a shot saved by Ruffier entering the last ten minutes but the summer signing from Bordeaux was soon given his marching orders, angrily smashing into Bryan Dabo. Jonathan Bamba, the ASSE forward loaned to Angers last season, came close to winning it, though it would finish with honours even.
THE PLAYER: Rémy Cabella
The French international started his season-long loan from Olympique de Marseille in ideal fashion with an obscenely early goal. The 27-year-old had also scored against Angers for OM back in March before falling down the Orange Vélodrome pecking order.
THE STAT: 3
Saint-Etienne have won their last three home Ligue 1 Conforama matches, having failed to win any of their previous six.