Evian boost survival hopes
Last Updated: 12/05/13 6:42pm
Saber Khelifa celebrates one of his two goals
Evian gave their Ligue 1 survival hopes a much-needed boost with a shock 4-0 hammering of Nice at the Parc des Sports.
Saber Khelifa scored twice as the hosts emulated the scoreline by which they beat Lorient on Wednesday to reach the Coupe de France final.
This latest success, which also featured goals from Kevin Berigaud and Mohammed Rabiu, lifted Evian two points ahead of Nancy and out of the relegation zone with two games remaining.
The tone was set in the first minute when Yannick Sagbo sent Berigaud clear and he drew an excellent reflex save from Nice goalkeeper David Ospina.
Dario Cvitanich almost put Nice ahead in the 11th minute when his first-time shot flashed right across the goalmouth but stayed out.
But thereafter it was all Evian and they took the lead in the 24th minute. Rabiu was the provider, delivering the through-ball which Berigaud controlled superbly and tucked past Ospina from close range.
Brice Dja Djedje set up a chance for Rabiu before half-time, the midfielder's shot superbly saved by Ospina at full stretch.
But the second goal arrived just three minutes into the second half as Berigaud set up the chance on the left flank and Rabiu raced on to his through-ball and fired hard and low past Ospina.
Khelifa made it 3-0 in the 55th minute, tucking the ball home from close range after Cedric Cambon nodded Daniel Wass' free-kick back across goal.
Rabiu's powerful cross was almost diverted into the net by Nice defender Kevin Gomis, while Didier Digard provided a rare alarm at the other end when his free-kick from wide on the right was turned over the bar by keeper Bertrand Laquait.
But Khelifa rounded the match off in style in the 87th minute when a Nice corner was cleared to him only just inside the visitors' half. Turning towards goal, the striker spotted Ospina out of position and lobbed the ball over him and into the open goal.
The result leaves Nice's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League hanging by a thread and reliant on Lyon's results, while Evian can head into matches against Valenciennes and Bordeaux in an optimistic mood.
French Ligue 1
|3||Paris St Germain||23||47|
|17||Evian Thonon Gaillar||23||23|