Teenager Eliesse Ben Seghir was the star for AS Monaco as they beat AJ Auxerre 3-2 on Wednesday, while Olympique Lyonnais claimed a morale-boosting 4-2 success against Stade Brestois 29 in Brittany. Wednesday round-up…
AJ Auxerre 2-3 AS Monaco
Teenager Ben Seghir was the star as Monaco gave their push for European qualification a boost by winning 3-2 away at struggling AJ Auxerre. Ben Seghir, who is just 17, cut in from the left to send a superb strike into the far corner of the net in the 85th minute for his second goal of the game to give the principality side all three points.
Before that, Auxerre had taken the lead at the Stade Abbé-Deschamps on the half-hour mark with M’Baye Niang netting a penalty after Lassine Sinayoko had been fouled in the area by Eliot Matazo. However, Monaco won a spot-kick of their own in first-half stoppage time when Takumi Minamino was brought down in the area, and Wissam Ben Yedder stepped up to score his seventh league goal of the season.
Yet Ben Yedder did not reappear for the second half with the teenage Ben Seghir taking his place. He promptly put Monaco ahead just before the hour mark, only for an own goal by France international Youssouf Fofana to make it 2-2 in the 68th minute. However, Ben Seghir would have the last laugh on his Ligue 1 Uber Eats debut to leave Philippe Clément’s team provisionally fifth in the table.
Clermont Foot 63 0-2 LOSC Lille
Lille’s performances before the World Cup break suggested they could challenge for European qualification in the second half of the season and they claimed a fine win away to Clermont at the Stade Gabriel-Montpied on Wednesday.
Former Manchester United youngster Angel Gomes opened the scoring from the penalty spot midway through the second half after he had been brought down in the area. Clermont were then reduced to 10 men in stoppage time when Maximiliano Caufriez was sent off for a second yellow card, before substitute Mohamed Bayo wrapped up the win at the death (90+4’). It was his first goal for Lille and it came against the club he left last summer. Lille are sixth in the table, while Clermont are without a win in six now.
Stade Brestois 29 2-4 Olympique Lyonnais
Lyon were playing their first competitive game since US businessman John Textor completed his takeover of the club, and they went ahead midway through the first half at the Stade Francis-Le Blé. Alexandre Lacazette squared for Maxence Caqueret to tap in the opener, but Brest were back level in the 29th minute when a Mathias Pereira Lage free-kick went in via a deflection off Karl Toko-Ekambi.
However, Rayan Cherki quickly restored Lyon’s lead (32’) and they won a penalty shortly after for a handball in the area by Brendan Chardonnet. Lacazette stepped up to score from the spot to make it 3-1, and Tetê converted OL’s fourth goal just after half-time. Steve Mounié headed in to pull another one back for Brest, but Lyon saw out a welcome victory.
AC Ajaccio 1-0 Angers SCO
Ajaccio hosted Angers in a key game at the bottom of the table that was played out in the sunshine in Corsica. Ajaccio had taken four points from their final two games before the World Cup and were looking to pick up where they left off as they faced an Angers side propping up the table. Seven straight defeats before the mid-season break had cost Angers coach Gérald Baticle his job, leaving youth academy director Abdel Bouhazama in charge of the team on an interim basis.
Mounaïm El Idrissy hit the post for Ajaccio inside two minutes at the Stade Francois-Coty while Adrien Hunou – who had one effort disallowed for offside – saw a shot come back off the upright at the other end. The hosts then broke the deadlock five minutes before half-time as Youcef Belaïli converted a penalty that he had won when he was brought down by Angers goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni. Angers, who were missing Moroccan World Cup stars Sofiane Boufal and Azzedine Ounahi, remain rooted to the foot of the table.
ESTAC Troyes 0-0 FC Nantes
Troyes were looking for a first win since September 18 as they played their first game under new Australian coach Patrick Kisnorbo with Nantes visiting the Stade de l’Aube. The hosts had the best chances, with Danish full-back Andreas Bruus crashing a shot off the bar late in the first half before Nantes goalkeeper Alban Lafont turned a Xavier Chavalerin shot onto the post 10 minutes from time. They could not find the breakthrough, and the result leaves Troyes a point clear of Nantes in the bottom half of the standings.