Gaëtan Laborde's second-half opener set Montpellier Hérault SC on their way to a welcome 2-0 win over struggling SM Caen on Sunday.
Montpellier Hérault SC 2 - 0 SM Caen
After a first half lacking in goalmouth action, Montpellier went in front here in the 51st minute. It was harsh on Caen goalkeeper Brice Samba, who made a terrific reaction save to keep out Damien Le Tallec's strike, but could not stop Laborde from heading in the loose ball.
This match was effectively over as a contest just before the hour mark as the home side doubled their lead thanks to a comical own goal. Some nice build-up play culminated in Paul Lasne delivering a cross from the left which Alexander Djiku could not clear, and Paul Baysse only succeeded in diverting the ball into his own net to make it 2-0 (59').
Montpellier had chances to add to their lead after that, but they were always comfortable at 2-0, with Benjamin Lecomte in the home goal not really needing to make a save of note until he reacted brilliantly to keep out a Yacine Bammou strike in the 76th minute.
A first win since December 1 gives Montpellier's push for a place in Europe a shot in the arm, while Caen remain in deep trouble towards the foot of the table after suffering a third loss in as many league outings since the turn of the year.
THE PLAYER: Gaëtan Laborde
Laborde's return to goal-scoring form coincided with a return to winning ways for Montpellier. The former Girondins de Bordeaux man had last found the net against AS Monaco on December 1, in the last game Michel Der Zakarian's men had won before this. Laborde now has eight league goals for the season.
THE STAT: 7
This was a first win in seven games in all competitions for Montpellier.