February 17, 2013
Stade de Reims 1-1 St Etienne
Reims and St Etienne shared the spoils in an entertaining Ligue 1 encounter at the Stade Auguste Delaune.
The lively Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the visitors ahead early in the first half before Reims got a deserved equaliser through Gaetan Courtet with 15 minutes left.
The result leaves Reims one point above the bottom three but they will feel unlucky not to have claimed the win after finishing the match strongly.
The in-form visitors, who had won four league matches in a row coming into today's contest, started the brighter with Aubameyang causing problems for the Reims defence as he pounced on a poor clearance but shot straight into the arms of Kossi Agassa.
However, moments later the Gabon striker was on the scoresheet in fortunate circumstances.
Yohan Mollo picked out Aubameyang with a long ball and, despite seeing his initial shot saved by Agassa, he was gifted a second opportunity and rolled the ball into an empty net despite the attentions of Mohamed Fofana.
With his confidence high, Aubameyang continued to look lively and only a poor touch denied him a clear goalscoring opportunity after Mollo had been the provider again.
St Etienne could have doubled their lead inside the first 20 minutes but when Aubameyang was set up by a Francois Clerc cross, he blazed his volley over.
Not to be outdone, Courtet smashed a volley over the bar at the other end from a similar position as the hosts enjoyed their first spell of pressure.
The same player was on hand again minutes later but he headed Johann Ramare's corner straight into the hands of Stephane Ruffier.
Agassa almost gifted a second to St Etienne shortly after the break. Aubameyang saw his shot from wide on the left cleared off the line by Fofana after Agassa had come off his line and missed a clearance.
Kamel Ghilas missed an excellent opportunity to level in the 55th minute but the unmarked striker turned Grzegorz Krychowiak's cross onto the bar.
The hosts continued to create chances in front of goal and got their reward 15 minutes from time through Courtet.
The St Etienne defence failed to clear their lines and the ball fell kindly to Courtet, who hammered past Ruffier.
Reims continued to press and came close to taking the lead when Courtet received a Nicolas Fauvergue pass but he lifted his shot over both Ruffier and the crossbar.
There was still time for Nicolas De Preville to sting the palms of Ruffier but St Etienne held out for an important point in their hunt for a European place.