St Etienne thump Ajaccio
Last Updated: 24/04/13 8:34pm
St Etienne celebrate against Ajaccio
St Etienne recovered from their Coupe de la Ligue celebrations in time to ensure their Champions League push retained full momentum with a thumping 4-2 win over Ajaccio.
ASSE ended a 32-year trophy wait at the weekend when they beat Rennes 1-0 in the Stade de France showpiece.
And there were initial signs they could suffer a hangover from that success when Adrian Mutu struck first via a deflection off Loic Perrin.
St Etienne's unbeaten league record in 2013 was not in jeopardy for long though as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang levelled soon after before quickfire goals from Mathieu Bodmer and Renaud Cohade shortly after the break.
A 75th-minute Mutu penalty prompted some late nerves but Aubameyang struck again two minutes from time to lift Christophe Galtier's side up to fourth.
St Etienne created the first opening when the weekend's match-winner Brandao sent Aubameyang through to force a punched save from Guillermo Ochoa.
It was Ajaccio, two points above the drop zone, who led though after 16 minutes.
Mutu volleyed Samuel Bouhours' free-kick and saw the ball take the necessary deflection off Perrin to ensure it fooled Stephane Ruffier in the ASSE goal.
The hosts were behind for just seven minutes as Yohan Mollo swooped on a Yoann Poulard error to tee up Aubameyang to score from close range.
Mollo had a snap-shot well kept out by Ochoa before the break and while the scores remained locked at the interval, St Etienne effectively put the game to bed minutes after the resumption.
Just three minutes had been played of the second half when Bodmer latched onto a Mollo pass and dummied his defender before lashing in.
Two minutes later it was 3-1 when Aubameyang cleverly allowed Brandao's left-wing cross to run through and on for Cohade to tap in at the back post.
Ochoa then kept out Aubameyang and Faouzi Ghoulam at full stretch before Kurt Zouma's handball offered Ajaccio a lifeline. Mutu smashed home the penalty with enough power to ensure Ruffier's hand failed to keep it out.
St Etienne snuffed out any hope of a comeback, however, when Aubameyang controlled Ghoulam's delivery and smashed in.
French Ligue 1
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