Montpellier Euro hopes suffer
Last Updated: 16/03/13 10:38pm
Gaetan Charbonnier celebrates his Montpellier goal
Montpellier suffered another blow to their European aspirations as they were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Troyes.
The home side were looking to bounce back from last week's defeat to Nice and things looked to be going their way when Gaetan Charbonnier struck early on.
However, Troyes are battling for Ligue 1 survival and responded with an equaliser from Corentin Jean after the restart.
The result leaves Montpellier seventh in the table, three points shy of the top four, while second-bottom Troyes are five points from safety.
It took just seven minutes for the home side to break the deadlock at Stade de la Mosson. Daniel Congre's ball into the area fell neatly for Charbonnier, who had a simple finish from close range.
Another chance followed four minutes later with a snapshot from Younes Belhanda which was pushed away for a corner by Yohann Thuram-Ulien.
And the Troyes goalkeeper was in the thick of the action again minutes later, producing an excellent diving save to keep out a testing drive from Henri Bedimo.
Troyes had to wait half an hour for their first chance but they were unfortunate not to pull level when it arrived, with Maxime Colin's header from Benjamin Nivet's free-kick rebounding off the crossbar.
They fared better six minutes into the second half, though, when Benjamin Stambouli was dispossessed in midfield by Nivet, who then freed up Jean for the teenager to fire home an angled shot.
The goal reignited Montpellier and they were cursing the woodwork themselves four minutes later when Belhanda's free-kick also struck the bar.
Undeterred, the home side pushed hard for the winning goal but could not find a way past Thuram-Ulien, who deflected away John Utaka's 73rd-minute bullet before blocking Anthony Mounier's volleyed attempt six minutes from time.
French Ligue 1
|1||Paris St Germain||33||68|
|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||34||37|