Robert Beric was on the scoresheet as Saint-Etienne beat fellow strugglers Toulouse 2-0. Jessy Moulin was outstanding in goal as ASSE managed their first Ligue 1 Conforama victory in 11 games.
AS Saint-Etienne 2-0 Toulouse FC
Continuing to fill in for the suspended Stéphane Ruffier, Moulin was a busy man in a first half Toulouse dominated. Watching on TV after falling ill playing badminton on Friday evening, Pascal Dupraz wouldn't have been able to believe his eyes as Moulin began by keeping out a free-kick from former Saint-Etienne favourite Max-Alain Gradel to set the tone.
Further fine stops followed from Somalia, Kelvin Amian and Gradel (twice) while all ASSE had managed until the 45th minute was an instinctive prod wide from Léo Lacroix. On the stroke of half-time, though, Les Verts were awarded a penalty for Andy Delort's clumsy challenge on Jonathan Bamba. Beric stepped up to send Alban Lafont the wrong way and make it four out of the six most recent Saint-Etienne goals against TFC scored from the spot.
Yann M'vila had a watching brief as the French international midfielder's clearance hadn't come in time to play after joining from Rubin Kazan. M'vila and the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard faced a nervous second half as Somalia again and substitute Corentin Jean brought the best out of Moulin.
Beric had a couple of chances to kill the game off before a dramatic conclusion. Big TFC centre-half Christopher Jullien headed a Gradel free-kick into the back of the net, only for it to be ruled out for offside. ASSE went straight down the other end to seal the points as Lafont turned Bamba's cross Assane Diousse's way and the Senegalese substitute tucked away his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal.
ASSE coach Jean-Louis Gasset enjoyed a win for his first home league game in charge to back up the success over Nimes in the Coupe de France and will be targeting another maximum haul when his side face bottom club Metz in midweek.
THE PLAYER: Robert Beric
Back from a loan spell at Anderlecht where he managed only 156 minutes of league football, the Slovenian international forward backed up his goal off the bench against Nimes with a confident penalty here. Beric looked sharper in the second half and could have added to his tally before being substituted late on.
THE STAT: 5
Toulouse have now gone five Ligue 1 Conforma games without scoring against Saint-Etienne. Frustrated by Stéphane Ruffier in a 0-0 at the end of October, here they were shut out by a man-of-the-match display from Moulin.