Laborde stars as Montpellier trounce Toulouse
Gaëtan Laborde opened his account for the season, helping Montpellier Hérault SC to a 3-0 win over Toulouse FC at the Stade de la Mosson on Sunday evening.
Montpellier Hérault SC 3-0 Toulouse FC
Montpellier hosted fellow southerners Toulouse without their suspended midfield talisman, Florent Mollet, so Téji Savanier started in a more advanced role than usual. The midfielder - normally a box-to-box player - lifted the home crowd off their seats when his early free-kick rippled the net, but fortunately for Baptiste Reynet in the visiting goal it was the wrong side of the post for the former Nîmes Olympique man (3'). Montpellier really did have the ball in the back of the net soon after when Andy Delort met Laborde's cross and lifted a fine finish over Reynet, but what might have been his fifth goal of the season was ruled out for offside (13'). Savanier - the best assister in Ligue 1 Conforama last term with 13 - had another free-kick on the half-hour, bit this one sailed rather more comfortably wide (30'). Michel Der Zakarian's men didn't have to wait long to break the deadlock, though. Again, Delort and Laborde combined, this time the former back-heeling Daniel Congré's long ball into the latter's path, and Laborde finished low into the Toulouse goal, bagging his first of the season in the process (43').
Montpellier make sure
Der Zakarian's opposite number Antoine Kombouaré sent Greece forward Efthimis Koulouris on for defensive midfielder William Vainqueur for the second half (46'), and the change in shape looked set to serve him well when Mathieu Dossevi forced a pair of corners after surging runs forward, but both came to nothing, and Montpellier pulled further clear just inside the hour when Damien Le Tallec rose highest to meet Congré's cross at the other end, his powerful header leaving Reynet with no chance (59'). La Paillade then dominated with their two-goal cushion, and added to their lead when Savanier combined well with Delort before firing an unstoppable shot beyond Reynet for 3-0 (75'). It took until the final 10 minutes for Toulouse to pose any threat, but Geronimo Rulli prioved equal to Nicolas Isimat-Mirin's free header at the back post (80') before saving Kelvin Amian's powerful shot (82') and it ended 3-0.
THE PLAYER: Gaëtan Laborde
Laborde enjoyed his best ever season in front of goal last year, scoring 11 in Ligue 1 Conforama as well as two in the UEFA Europa League, and although he's happy being the maker to Delort's taker in their strike partnership, it was nice to see the roles reversed tonight.
THE STAT: 4
Montpellier have now won each of their last four Ligue 1 Conforama meetings with Toulouse. The last time Le Téfécé took all three points off La Paillade was in August 2017 when Jimmy Durmaz - now of Galatasary SK - scored in a 1-0 win at the Stadium de Toulouse.