St Etienne triumph in the snow
Last Updated: 09/02/13 9:43pm
St Etienne celebrate in the snow against Montpellier
In-form St Etienne stepped up their bid for Champions League football by casting aside Ligue 1 champions Montpellier 4-1 at a snowy Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
First-half goals from Brandao and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were followed by a third from Yohan Mollo three minutes after half-time.
Montpellier immediately pulled a goal back through Remy Cabella before the match was delayed for 30 minutes when the snow made conditions unplayable.
With fears the game could be called off the ASSE players helped clear the pitch and their efforts were rewarded after the resumption with a fourth goal, through Mathieu Bodmer, and a sixth successive win in all competitions.
The win leaves them on the cusp of the Champions League places while Montpellier, who had started to climb the table themselves, suffered a third successive away league defeat.
Brandao got the ball rolling for this hosts after just 13 minutes when he volleyed home following a clever flick-on from Aubameyang.
Brandao almost smacked in a second on 25 minutes but Geoffrey Jourdren denied him at full stretch.
ASSE were in full flight and a superb Aubameyang goal on the half-hour made it 2-0. The striker ran onto Renaud Cohade's long pass forward and, after winning a foot race with Henri Bedimo, heeled the ball in as he turned his back on goal.
St Etienne gained further clear water on 48 minutes when Mollo combined with Cohade on the edge of the area before the former beat Jourdren with a low drive.
Montpellier responded a minute later, Younes Belhanda racing clear before playing in Cabella to score from 15 yards.
The snow got heavier thereafter, however, and the players were called off on 64 minutes by the referee.
While Montpellier's players sat asking for the match to be replayed the home team set about clearing the pitch.
It worked as the game resumed half an hour later and substitute Bodmer completed a good day as he headed in a fourth to continue ASSE's winning ways.
French Ligue 1
|3||Paris St Germain||23||47|
|17||Evian Thonon Gaillar||23||23|