Nîmes Olympique took derby spoils over Montpellier Hérault SC on Sunday, Renaud Ripart striking late against the run of play to seal a 1-0 win at the Stade de la Mosson.
Montpellier bounced into their Derby du Languedoc clash with Nîmes on the back of an undefeated run of four games - three of them wins. Nîmes were five points and nine places worse off than their hosts at kick-off but have steadied the ship in recent weeks with draws against Olympique Lyonnais and RC Lens, and nearly half an hour was gone before they allowed their goal to come under threat. Former Nîmes midfielder Téji Savanier whipped in a free-kick which found its way to Gaëtan Laborde, but the striker's acrobatic attempt came to nothing (29'). The same pair combined again soon after, Laborde meeting Savanier's corner, but this time Lamine Fomba saved the visitors from going behind (36') and Benoît Millot's whistle for half-time went with the deadlock firmly intact.
Savanier tried to get Montpellier going again after the restart, finding space between the lines, but his left-footed volley which sailed high over Baptiste Reynet's crossbar rather summed up his and his side's frustration (48'). Laborde's strike partner Andy Delort then forced a good save from Reynet after meeting Arnaud Souquet's cross from the right (62'). Nîmes carved out a rare chance at the other end with little more than 10 minutes left to play, but after good work from Birger Meling out wide, Lucas Deaux fluffed his lines (78'). There was still time for Nîmes to eke out a winner, though. Zinedine Ferhat teed up Ripart after a swift counter and the forward lashed home the winner (84').
THE PLAYER: Téji Savanier
Savanier was lively against his former employers and unlucky to find himself on the losing side. Although he couldn't add to his haul of three goals and one assist on Sunday, it wasn't for the want of trying. If more of his teammates can match his vibrant display against AS Monaco after the international break, another three-point haul could well be Montpellier's.
THE STAT: 6
This was the first time in six games that Montpellier have failed to win at their Stade de la Mosson. The last time they dropped points at home was in December, when champions Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to leave with a 3-1 win.