Evian hit back to earn point
Last Updated: 17/11/12 10:24pm
Mohamed Rabiu starts the Evian fightback
Aldo Angoula headed a late leveller as Evian fought back from two goals behind to deny St Etienne top spot after as 2-2 draw.
Christophe Galtier's visitors looked to be charging towards the summit when two Max Gradel goals put them in control.
However, Mohamed Rabiu pulled a goal back for Evian two minutes into the second half, and Angoula brought the teams level in the 79th minute.
There was still time for St Etienne, but the closest they went was when Alejandro Alonso struck the crossbar with a powerful drive.
St Etienne went ahead after just nine minutes.
Fabien Lemoine fed the ball to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the Gabon forward, praised this week by no less than France great Jean-Pierre Papin, played a clever ball to allow Gradel to head expertly past goalkeeper Bertrand Laquait.
It was 2-0 after 27 minutes when Renaud Cohade and Dja Djedje combined to present the ball again to Aubameyang who again picked out Gradel.
The home goalkeeper needed to be sharp six minutes later when Faouzi Ghoulam's free-kick threatened to make it 3-0, but the goalkeeper got behind the powerful 30-yard strike.
At that stage, with leaders Paris St Germain having lost earlier in the day, St Etienne were heading above both the wealthy capital side and Marseille, who play Bordeaux tomorrow.
Yet doubts crept in when Evian narrowed the deficit in the 47th minute, as Kevin Berigaud darted forward and flicked a pass on the run to Rabiu whose lob was too good for Stephane Ruffier.
Laquait denied Aubameyang at one end, before Ruffier kept out a snap shot from Youssef Adnane at the other.
Evian drew level from a free-kick, with Daniel Wass crossing from the left for Angoula to direct the ball beyond Ruffier from close range.
Rocked by the leveller, the visitors pressed in a bid to regain the lead, but the closest they came was when Alonso drove purposefully forward and cracked a fierce shot at goal against the goal frame.
French Ligue 1
|3||Paris St Germain||19||38|
|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||18||19|