Angers triumph sends Caen deeper into trouble
Jeff Reine-Adelaïde continued his rich vein of form with the only goal of the game as Angers SCO won 1-0 at SM Caen on Sunday to send the Normandy club to the bottom of the table.
SM Caen 0-1 Angers SCO
Angers had run into form just in time for their 1000th Ligue 1 Conforama game, and Stéphane Moulin's side, who had lost only three times in their previous 19 top-flight matches, would have made the short trip north in optimistic mood.
Their own form was not the only reason for that with Caen second-from-bottom of the table, and with just four wins in their last 41 league matches.
The hosts started well, though. Enzo Crivelli headed down for Saïf-Eddine Khaoui, who tested Ludovic Butelle (26') as Caen — nine points from outright safety at kick-off following Amiens SC's draw at Dijon FCO on Friday — sought a very welcome win.
But Angers weathered the storm and as the half-time break approached, they came within a whisker of making the breakthrough.
Flavien Tait seized onto a poor clearance by Alexander Djiku, skipped clear of Jonathan Gradit, but could not beat Brice Samba (44'), while poor work from Gradit presented Reine-Adélaïde with a great opportunity, but he fired off the crossbar (45').
Romain Thomas headed just over shortly after the restart (50') before Tait and Pierrick Capelle played a one-two down the left, and Capelle charged to the byline before cutting back for Reine-Adélaïde to sidefoot home (61').
It was the ex-Arsenal FC youngster's second goal in as many games, which is nearly half as many as the five Caen have managed since the turn of the year.
They came close to a sixth — and a precious point — when Herman Moussaki toe-poked goalwards, but Butelle blocked to leave Fabien Mercadal's men marooned at the bottom (88') and odds-on favourites to end their five-year stint in the top flight come the season's end.
THE PLAYER: Pierrick Capelle
The quality left-footer was the stand-out performer at the Stade Michel d'Ornano, and deserved to play a central role in the goal that won it for Angers.
THE STAT: 28
All but four of Angers' 32 league games this season have ended in a draw or been decided by one-goal margins, including 25 of the last 27.