Skhiri strike seals points for Montpellier
Ellyes Skhiri's thumping finish secured a 2-1 win for Montpellier Hérault SC away to Amiens SC on Saturday evening.
Amiens SC 1 - 2 Montpellier Hérault SC
Gaëtan Laborde made his Montpellier debut following the completion of his move from Girondins de Bordeaux, but it was another summer recruit who put the visitors ahead at the Stade de la Licorne.
A goalless first period gave way to a far more entertaining second half, with Florent Mollet setting the tone when he got the breakthrough in the 52nd minute via a fantastic effort. The former FC Metz man picked up the ball on the left, came inside and let fly with a thunderous strike on his right foot that swerved into the far corner.
That was his first goal for his new club, and Michel Der Zakarian's men then doubled their lead in the 71st minute. Tunisian international midfielder Skhiri, who played at the World Cup, saw his initial right-foot strike from 16 yards beaten out by Amiens goalkeeper Régis Gurtner, but the ball came straight back to the 23-year-old, who this time thumped home on the volley on his left foot.
Amiens did get a goal back late on as Moussa Konaté - scorer of 13 Ligue 1 Conforama goals last season - sent Benjamin Lecomte the wrong way from the penalty spot with eight minutes left after a Vitorino Hilton handball.
But Amiens could not get an equaliser, and this defeat follows a 2-0 reverse at Olympique Lyonnais last weekend, making it a disappointing start to their second top-flight campaign for the Picardy club.
THE PLAYER: Florent Mollet
Skhiri's goal was not bad, but Mollet's was one of the strikes of the weekend in France. Montpellier will hope for more in the coming weeks as the former Metz player develops an understanding going forward with fellow new boys Laborde and Andy Delort.
THE STAT: 7
Amiens had been unbeaten in all seven home meetings with Montpellier in all competitions prior to this defeat.