Champions off the mark
Last Updated: 01/09/12 10:54pm
Remy Cabella: On target for Montpellier
Reigning champions Montpellier claimed a belated first victory in their title defence by condemning Sochaux to a fourth straight defeat.
The fact that Sloan Privat registered Les Lionceaux's first goal of the season was scant consolation as goals from Younes Belhanda, Emanuel Herrera and Remy Cabella ensured the hosts remain the only side without a point in Ligue 1.
Surprise winners of the French championship last year, Montpellier had endured a dismal start to the new campaign by claiming just one point from the first nine on offer.
But they came flying out of the blocks at the Stade Auguste Bonal, Henri Bedimo cutting inside on his left foot to strike fiercely at goal.
Pierrick Cros may have guess right to block the Cameroonian's drive on that occasion, but he dived the other way when Montpellier were awarded a penalty in the 16th minute.
Yaya Banana impeded Belhanda in the box and the Morocco international stepped up to fire clinically into the bottom corner.
Sochaux were clearly rattled but came within inches of levelling two minutes before the break, Cedric Bakambu swooping on Hilton's careless pass and firing viciously against Paillade defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who stood tall to repel the danger.
The hosts would wait a little longer for their first goal as Montpellier extended their lead in the 58th minute.
Bedimo punted the ball towards the far post, only for Mathieu Peybernes to miscue his clearance into the path of a grateful Herrera, who pipped Cros to the far post.
If morale was at an all time low in Montbeliard then Privat did his bit to raise spirits by converting Sebastian Roudet's free-kick with a superb header at the far post.
Alarm bells rang for the visitors and they worked diligently to sew up all three points with Cabella nipping in to beat Cros from an acute angle with 12 minutes remaining.
Roy Contout released Privat down the right but the young striker was denied the chance to double his team's tally for the season as Geoffrey Jourdren made a fine save.
French Ligue 1
|3||Paris St Germain||19||38|
|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||18||19|