Lucas Deaux struck in added time to give En Avant Guingamp a dramatic 1-0 win over Angers SCO on Saturday to give their survival hopes an unexpected boost.
EA Guingamp 1-0 Angers SCO
Bottom of the table, seven points from safety at kick-off, Guingamp knew that anything but an improvement on their return of just one win and three draws in 12 home games could be all but fatal.
Guingamp had beaten Angers in the Coupe de la Ligue earlier in the season, though had only won through on penalties, and with the visitors having won their previous three league outings, Jocelyn Gourvennec's men knew they had a big task on their hands.
Baptiste Santamaria's shot that flashed just wide (8') sounded the visitors' intent to be anything but generous, though they did not build on that, and only a brave Mateo Pavlovic block prevented an Alexandre Mendy shot from significantly troubling Ludovic Butelle (35').
Cheick Traoré did the same at the opposite end to deny Stéphane Bahoken (37') before Mendy found the net — latching onto a Deaux through ball — only for the offside flag to cut short the celebrations of the boisterous crowd (41').
Deaux the hero
Flavien Tait's shot tested Marc-Aurèle Caillard's reflexes (43') just before the break with both teams retreating into their shells a little after it.
Ismaël Traoré made a timely interception to get to a Traoré cross ahead of Benezet (61'), and when Marcus Thuram was forced off with a thigh injury (67'), Guingamp appeared likely to have to settle for an unsatisfactory point.
But with just seconds left, Marcus Coco raced forward and crossed into the box where Deaux leapt above Abdoulaye Bamba to power a header past Butelle — his second goal of the season could be one of the most vital of the whole campaign for Guingamp.
THE PLAYER: Lucas Deaux
The tigerish midfielder never knows when he is beaten, and it is for that reason that Guingamp won the game. His energy and determination got him into the box to head home a crucial goal.
THE STAT: 26
It is nearly 26 years since Angers won at Guingamp — their last triumph in a competitive fixture came in a Ligue 2 game on 8 May 1993, the final day of the season, when a 2-0 victory gave them promotion to the top flight.