A hard-fought draw in Saint-Etienne [1-1]
Girondins pick up another point
The Girondins played out a close draw away at Saint-Etienne, with Josh Maja the goalscorer for Bordeaux.
The game took a while to get going as the two teams sized each other up, but in the 5th minute Yacine Adli had his first run at the hosts' defence and fired off a sweet, curling shot which narrowly missed the top corner of the goal. Saint-Etienne dominated possession in these opening exchanges, but the Girondins looked dangerous on the counter-attack. Samuel Kalu was a constant threat in midfield.
Claude Puel's side created their fair share of chances in this first period, but fortunately for Bordeaux Benoît Costil was on his usual imperious form. As half time approached the Girondins continued to soak up the pressure and wait for chances to counter-attack, with Samuel Kalu once again leading the way. The teams retired for the break with no further incident, and an empty scoreboard reflecting what had been a fairly lacklustre first half.
Paulo Sousa's half-time team talk clearly paid off, as the Girondins returned to the pitch with a greater sense of urgency and soon began causing problems for the hosts. Another probing run down the left flank by Samuel Kalu left the Verts' defence in disarray, but Kalu's cross was just beyond the reach of Rémi Oudin (53’).
With almost an hour played, the match finally kicked into gear. Once again Kalu was the orchestrator, shrugging off multiple defenders and floating a cross into the box. The Saint-Etienne defence attempted to clear, but the ball fell straight to Josh Maja who fired Bordeaux into the lead (0-1, 65’).
But that lead was to be short-lived: four minutes later, Saint-Etienne equalised.
Denis Bouanga connected with a smart cross from Boudebouz with a diving cross that Benoît Costil was powerless to stop (1-1, 69’). Both sides were on the offensive now, as the match finally became more animated. A little too animated for Saint-Etienne's Camara, who picked up a second yellow card and left the hosts to finish the game with ten men (74’). But 15 minutes of numerical superiority was not enough to get the better of Saint-Etienne, and the game ended one apiece.
The Girondins will surely be ruing their failure to make that late advantage count, and will need to bounce back positively with a strong home performance against Rennes next week.