Struggling Nice beaten at home
Last Updated: 24/11/13 6:45pm
St Etienne's French forward Mevlut Erding celebrates
Out of form Nice suffered their fourth consecutive Ligue 1 defeat for the first time under Claude Puel's stewardship with a 1-0 loss to St Etienne at the Allianz Riviera.
Mevlut Erding's first Ligue 1 goal for Les Verts was enough to secure all three points for the visitors who leapt five places into sixth with only their second win in nine.
Defeat for the hosts, a sixth in their previous eight matches, left them languishing in 13th - their worst position since the opening day of the season - and heaped pressure on manager Puel.
It could have been an entirely different outcome had Jeremy Pied scored in the opening five minutes for Nice but, after good work from Christian Bruls and Alexy Bosetti gifted him the opportunity, the former Lyon striker saw his effort saved by Stephane Ruffier.
Despite the hosts dominating the early exchanges, St Etienne almost caught them out on the counter but young goalkeeper Lucas Veronese kept out Erding's effort after he'd been set free by Romain Hamouma.
That proved to be a warning sign for Nice, though, who conceded in calamitous circumstances on the 25 minute mark.
Veronese inexplicably allowed Nemanja Pejcinovic's back-pass to roll under his feet and the 22-year-old shot-stopper's attempts to atone for his mistake were in vain as Erding nipped in to score the opener.
Nice tried to offer a reply but Timothee Kolodziejczak could only head wide after Bruls picked him out with a free-kick.
Veronese was almost caught out again from Hamouma's 35 yard free-kick but, making only his second start of the season, David Ospina's deputy saved to keep Nice's deficit down to the solitary goal.
Despite his error in the first half, it was Veronese who proved to be in fine form after the restart, making two superb stops to keep out Erding and Franck Tabanou as St Etienne tried to wrap up the three points.
Tabanou was guilty again of being wasteful when he failed to find the target from close range with the goal gaping before Nice finally woke up.
Pied saw a superb header end up just wide of the post after Kolodziejczak picked him out before Jordan Amavi found the target following a Bruls free-kick late on only for Ruffier to save.
Despite huffing and puffing late on, Puel's men failed to open up St Etienne and the visitors held on to take all three points.
French Ligue 1
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