Saint-Étienne grabs the victory from Niort and is no longer a red lantern in Ligue 2

Only the verdict of the 38th and final day can confirm it, but the winter recruits from Saint-Étienne may have created a click, this Monday evening at the René-Gaillard stadium. Kader Bamba came on after the hour and hit the post twenty minutes later. Gaëtan Charbonnier, on the rebound, punished Chamois (1-0, 86.). The Greens are no longer last, but eighteenth, just ahead of Niort.

Breathtaking self-sacrifice, Laurent Batlles’ men never gave up. Still, there was something. From the 7th minute, Benjamin Bouchouari hit the post, at the end of a nice move led by Mathieu Cafaro. Before a series of clear chances: Dennis Appiah (21st), Jean-Philippe Krasso (28th), Cafaro (53rd), Victor Lobry (60th), Bouchouari (71st) and Saïdou Sow (85th) were all close to open the scoring. The last, a huge mess two meters from the goal line, confirmed the general impression: Saint-Étienne would have regretted enormously if they had not won.

The chamois also aim for maintenance and it is not really seen. Only Bilal Boutobba, twice (62nd, 83rd) forced Gautier Larsonneur to deploy. For the rest, the Greens have pushed on, deserved their success. The entry of Kader Bamba (65th), two days after the announcement of his loan, brought the spark that was missing to trigger this fear game. And this danger, which desperately deprived Gaëtan Charbonnier of balloons. All that was needed was a chance for the striker, who arrived from AJ Auxerre on 22 December.

Another success in a row that changes everything

Already decisive in extra time against Caen, to equalize (1-1, December 30), the rookie therefore “offered” four points to his team in four games for his new club. Enough to start a new dynamic: ASSE has a second consecutive success after Laval (1-0, January 10), and is only three points behind Dijon, sixteenth and first non-relegation.

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