Beric the hero as ASSE win on Puel's debut
By D. Crossan
Robert Beric stepped off the bench to head home the winner as Saint-Etienne beat Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 in the derby in Claude Puel's first game in charge.
AS Saint-Étienne 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais
Puel, appointed on Friday, celebrated beating the club he coached from 2008-2011 with gusto as ASSE turned the tables on OL, who had scored a last-gasp headed winner through Moussa Dembélé at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard last season. Les Verts netted the goal while OL had only 10 men on the field, captain Léo Dubois forced off injured when Sylvinho had already made all three allotted changes.
Both sides lined up with three centre-halves and chances were at a premium in the first half. Ryad Boudebouz (20') had a shot tipped onto the post by Anthony Lopes. OL didn't manage a shot on target though Memphis Depay wasn't far away with an audacious free-kick (36').
Houssem Aouar had his best game of the season in OL's midweek Champions League win at Leipzig and the midfielder had the ball in the back of the net (61') only for the goal to be disallowed for offside. The match had sprung to life and Lopes kept out Denis Bouanga (63') before Jessy Moulin did the same to Aouar at the other end (75').
Continuing to fill in for the injured Stéphane Ruffier, Moulin got down well to his left to deal with a header by Dembélé - the sub - to prevent history repeating itself. Moulin then rushed out to greet Aouar (87') and the OL player clipped the ball wide. The most dramatic action was saved for the last as Boudebouz crossed wickedly from the side Dubois would have been defending and Beric got away from Marcelo before heading across Lopes and into the far corner of the net to send the stadium into raptures.
THE PLAYER: Ryad Boudebouz
Restored to the starting line-up as Puel made some bold changes, Boudebouz served notice of his talent with the wonderful cross for the Beric goal. The former Montpellier and Sochaux attacker had gone closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half and finally looks capable of stepping up to prove a worthy successor to Rémy Cabella, sold in the summer.
THE STAT: 7
OL have gone seven Ligue 1 Conforama games without a win for the first time since 1996.