St Etienne dream is alive
Last Updated: 26/04/14 9:47pm
Saint Etienne players celebrate after scoring
St Etienne revived their bid to reach the Champions League with a 2-1 win at Evian.
Benjamin Corgnet and skipper Loic Perrin scored inside the first 15 minutes before withstanding an improved Evian after half-time.
Daniel Wass' 53rd-minute goal was all that Evian had to show for their fightback and stoppage-time dismissals for Youssouf Sabaly and Cedric Cambon further set back their fight against relegation.
Sabaly was red carded for a horror tackle on Francois Clerc and in the following melee Cambon was also sent off.
St Etienne had drawn their previous three games to lose momentum in their chase for a Champions League place, but have closed the gap on third-placed Lille to four points. Lille host Bordeaux on Sunday.
The visitors shot out of the blocks and Melvut Erding saw a header skim the post after meeting a Max-Alain Gradel cross.
It was a warning of what was to come as Gradel set up St Etienne's two early goals.
The winger outpaced his marker and fired in a cross to the near post, where Corgnet showed the most desire to be first to the ball and volley past Jesper Hansen.
A Gradel free-kick was too good for Evian on 15 minutes. His delivery to the penalty spot caught out Cambon as Perrin beat him to the ball to head home.
Erding almost made it 3-0 moments later with a backheel but Hansen read the danger.
It remained 2-0 until half-time and Evian made almost immediate inroads after the break through Wass. Cedric Barbosa dribbled past Moustapha Sall and set up Wass to slot in.
Hansen had to make a couple of good saves to stop ASSE reclaiming a two goal cushion, denying Erding and Fabien Lemoine, before Wass outjumped teenage defender Kurt Zouma only to head over.
Evian then lost Sabaly and Cambon to their late red cards, which could prove vital in a relegation fight that sees them five points clear of the drop zone.
French Ligue 1
|3||Paris St Germain||22||44|
|16||Evian Thonon Gaillar||22||23|