Strasbourg up to seventh with Toulouse win
RC Strasbourg Alsace surged into the top half of the table with an impressive 2-1 win over Toulouse FC, with Jonas Martin (pen. 26') and Kader Mangane (52') getting the goals for Le Racing.
RC Strasbourg Alsace 2-1 Toulouse FC
Strasbourg and Toulouse began the day separated by just two points in mid-table, and a frenetic first half at the Stade de la Meinau was suitably well-matched. Jérémy Blayac had the first big chance for the hosts, getting on the end of a Dimitri Liénard cross, but Toulouse's 18-year-old 'keeper Alban Lafont did well to stop him at the back post (11'). Blayac's movement was proving difficult to contain, though, and when he was hauled down by Alexis Blin in the box, referee Jérôme Miguelgorry had little chance to blow for a penalty, which Martin stepped up to convert (25'). Toulouse were back on level terms just five minutes later, though. Max-Alain Gradel initially fired a free-kick into the Strasbourg wall, but the Bournemouth-owned man reacted quickly before spinning a fine equaliser beyond Lafont's opposite number, Landry Bonnefoi (30'). Another Gradel free-kick nearly resulted in a goal at the other end soon after, but Kenny Lala was unable to find a way past Lafont following a swift counter-attack (37').
Thierry Laurey's men managed to beat Lafont for a second time soon after the restart when Kader Mangane nicked in front of TFC captain Christopher Jullien to steer home a Liénard cross (52'), and the Alsatians should have pulled further clear on the hour after finding themselves three against one, but Lafont showed why he is considered one of the best young goalkeepers in the world, closing down his angles to make Anthony Gonçalves almost inevitable (60'). Toulouse finished the match for stronger than their opponents, with Gradel in particular outstanding, but the Ivorian saw a thumping shot pawed away by Bonnefoi (71') launching a ball into the Strasbourg area that Mangane headed narrowly over (90+2') and it ended 2-1 to the hosts.
THE PLAYER: Alban Lafont
It's not often a player on the losing side gets a Man of the Match award, but Strasbourg could have won this game aby an embarrassing margin for Toulouse had it not been for the intervention of teenaged shot-stopper, Lafont. Playing for a struggling team is keeping Lafont busy - a full call up for the France U20 man cannot be far away.
THE STAT: 4
Strasbourg have now won their last four matches against Toulouse in all competitions. The last time Le Téfécé beat Le Racing was all the way back in September 2005, during Strasbourg's previous spell in the French top flight.