Saint-Etienne (AFP)

Nice climbed on the podium in Ligue 1 after its clear and logical victory on Saturday in Saint-Etienne (3-0), now a red lantern one week before the derby against Lyon.

Whistled by their supporters, the Stéphanois presented themselves at the foot of the bends after the final whistle where they spoke at length with representatives of the Green Angels and the Magic Fans vehemently but without incident.

The Greens have only three points after a series of five defeats, and therefore pass behind Metz on goal difference (-10 against -8).

The Aiglons, who reacted well after their defeat in Lorient on Wednesday (1-0) by delivering a solid performance, meanwhile returned to a point from Marseille (2nd) which receives Lens on Sunday.

Amine Gouiri gave his team the advantage in the 15th minute on a free kick deflected by Mahdi Camara (15th) before Dutchman Calvin Stengs made it 2-0 at the start of the second half at the conclusion of a against on a pass from Khephren Thuram (54th).

The joy of the Nice striker Amine Gouiri after opening the scoring against Saint-Etienne, during their Ligue 1 match, on September 25, 2021 at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK AFP

But the Niçois had other opportunities to score.

And to win more widely, especially in the first period.

- Delort carries the blow -

Andy Delort finally added a third goal at the end of the match by taking a cross from Lucas Da Cunha (83rd).

Before that, goalkeeper Stefan Bajic, replacing Etienne Green, suspended, several times saved the Greens in front of Delort (5th, 28th), made a double parade against Hassane Kamara then Gouiri (7th), and was again decisive against Gouiri in the 34th minute.

Saint-Etienne tried to react, especially after half-time, but if the goodwill is evident, the talent is lacking in this team, harmless since the start of the season, and in difficulty facing the best defense in the championship which has conceded only three goals this season.

The Stéphanois, dominating in the second half, came up against Walter Benitez, who intervened well against Romain Hamouma (8th) and Denis Bouanga (38th) as well as a free kick from Peruvian Miguel Trauco (45th + 1).

Melvin Bard also saved the Aiglons on the line after a recovery from the head of Harold Moukoudi (41st) while a recovery from the head of Jean-Philippe Krasso missed (27th).

At a strong point, they even thought they had obtained a penalty but Khazri who had suffered the fault was finally signaled offside at the start of the action after viewing the video assistance (62nd).

The entries of Arnaud Nordin and Ryad Boudebouz at half-time, then of Adil Aouchiche (66th) did not bring the expected bonus in terms of percussion in front of a mocking audience who whistled his team at the end of the match while demanding the resignation of coach Claude Puel and the departure of the shareholders.

© 2021 AFP