Seventh heaven for Lorient
Last Updated: 09/03/14 6:39pm
Lorient's Kevin Monnet Paquet shoots and scores
Lorient put an end to a dismal run of six Ligue 1 games without in win with a dramatic 1-0 win over high-flying St Etienne.
Jeremie Aliadiere's 90th-minute penalty was enough to steal all three points form their fourth-placed opponents and hand Christian Gourcuff's men only their second win of the year.
St Etienne had been hoping to close the gap on third-placed Lille to one point with their first ever win at the Stade du Moustoir but defeat for Christophe Gaultier's team left a huge dent in their UEFA Champions League qualification aspirations.
Lorient thought they had a penalty as early as the seventh minute when former Arsenal striker Aliadiere went down in the area under a challenge from Moustapha Bayal Sall but referee Nicolas Rainville waved away the protests.
The first real chance of the game fell in the 25th minute when Les Verts' Romain Hamouma tried his luck with a rasping effort from 25 yards but Fabien Audard got down superbly to palm away for a corner.
Aliaidiere was asking for the referee's assistance once again minutes later when he went down after breaking into the box, this time under a Benoit Tremolinas challenge, but yet again Rainville denied the Lorient striker.
The final chance of the half fell St Etienne's way but, after Brandao picked him out at the far post, Hamouma saw his first-time volley blocked by Maxime Baca and both teams went in level.
Christian Gourcuff's team almost made the perfect start to the second-half but Vincent Aboubakar saw his effort come back off the right upright with Stephane Ruffier and St Etienne survived another scare.
Lorient continued to knock on the door in search of that elusive opener but Aliadiere fired way over Ruffier's bar with a shot on the turn minutes before Aboubakar fired into the side-netting.
Aliadiere continued to impress and thought he had given his side the lead after he rounded visiting keeper Ruffier, but Loic Perrin got back to deny the hosts as an opening goal seemed less and less likely.
But, with added time on the horizon, the hosts were given a great opportunity when Josua Guilavogui handled inside the area and finally Rainville pointed at the spot.
Aliadiere took charge and blasted the ball straight down the middle of the goal to seal a dramatic win for Les Merlus and inflict a first defeat in six on St Etienne.
French Ligue 1
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