Troyes scored their first win since Week 26, beating Caen 3-1 after Ivan Santini had opened the scoring for the visitors. It was a priceless success for Jean-Louis Garcia's side.
ESTAC Troyes 3-1 SM Caen
Troyes had only managed a single point after conceding the opening goal prior to this game so home supporters must have feared the worst when Santini (4') netted for Caen, heading home a Frédéric Guilbert cross at the near post. Yet Troyes turned it around and how they needed the three points given that Lille also won on the night.
Adama Niane headed a Samuel Grandsir cross against the post (6') but a minute later Bryan Pelé's long-range free-kick struck the woodwork, and caught out a startled Rémy Vercoutre as the ball rebounded off the veteran goalkeeper's back and rolled over the line.
Pelé was involved in the goal that gave Troyes the lead (27') as his corner was met by Benjamin Nivet, the Troyes captain benefiting from lax marking from his opposite number Julien Féret to turn the ball in. Santini (42) could have levelled before the break but Christophe Hérelle made a vital block that took the ball wide.
Giant South Korean striker Suk Hyun-jun stepped off the bench to make the points safe for ESTAC (84') as he met a Rémi Walter flick, held off Damen Da Silva and finished with a powerful shot for his sixth league goal of the season and his first since a double at Monaco in Week 17.
THE PLAYER: Benjamin Nivet
At 41, the oldest player in Ligue 1 Conforama is in a rich vein of form. Having scored his first goal of the season in the home loss to Olympique de Marseille in Week 33, the playmaker added an assist in defeat at Saint-Etienne and then managed an even sweeter starring role with a goal in this victory.
THE STAT: 7
Caen have now gone seven Ligue 1 Conforama games without a win, suffering five defeats and drawing twice. Patrice Garande's side have only scored maximum points three times in their last 21 outings.