High-flying St Etienne felled by Toulouse

Toulouse inflicted a 2-1 come-from-behind defeat on high-flying Saint Etienne on Friday, the first win of their campaign at the sixth attempt lifting them out of the relegation zone.

  • Published: 21/09/2013 at 03:49 AM
  • Newspaper section: news

Toulouse's midfielder Issiaga Sylla (L) celebrates with his teammate Serge Aurier after scoring during their French L1 football match against Saint-Etienne on September 20, 2013 at the Geoffroy Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne, eastern France.

League Cup holders St Etienne turned up at the Pyrenean city on a high with victory assuring them of the Ligue 1 lead, at least until big-spending Monaco's visit to champions Paris Saint Germain on Sunday.

And Les Verts, out of the Europa League, began promisingly, with Romain Hamouma capitalising on a mistake from Toulouse goalkeeper Ali Ahamada to put the visitors into an 18th minute lead.

This was the 26-year-old's third goal of the season.

The home side drew back level after the hour when Danish striker Martin Braithwaite, a close season recruit, slid home a close range effort.

Guinean defender Issiaga Sylla completed the comeback with quarter of an hour remaining, to give Toulouse a much-needed lift and leave Saint-Etienne treading water in second, on 12 points, sandwiched between billionaire duo Monaco and third-placed PSG.

Toulouse's reward was to move up four places to 15th.

Sunday's headline encounter at Parc des Princes, the first clash of the season between two of Europe's newest financial heavyweights, is set to indicate who has the early edge in France.

Both teams are off to unbeaten starts although Monaco come into the match one point clear of Saint-Etienne while PSG are two points back but starting to change gears after an eye-catching 4-1 win over Olympiakos in midweek gave their Champions League quest a dream start.

On Saturday, fourth-placed Marseille and last season's runners-up, travel to Bastia.

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Writer: AFP
Position: News agency

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