Both St Etienne and Bordeaux had disappointing performances in the first round.
St Etienne scored an early goal against Toulouse and decided to defend that advantage for the rest of the game (75 minutes…). They were forced to make this decision seeing they do not have a proper striker to apply the finishing touch and it’s always more convenient to move the ball in midfield and not even try to create a decent opportunity.
Last round they started with Monnet-Paquet and Bamba upfront. Monnet-Paquet is actually a winger (even played as a fullback in his past) and now he was suddenly converted to the forward position, and Bamba is a product of the youth academy, only 19, not ready yet for professional football.
Besides the goal that arrived after a corner, in the entire game St Etienne could barely create a couple of real scoring opportunities, none from open play.
With 10 minutes to go Bordeaux were leading 1-0 and even if at that point they gave up initiative nothing warned of what was about to happen. Bordeaux conceded twice in only 10 minutes and ended up with no points (Reims won 2-1).
On one hand midfielders Khazri, Chantome and Poko made an excellent game, with many successful interventions and actions initiated, but on the other hand striker Diabate and defenders Pallois and Poundje were still in vacation mode.
Diabate was often in great situations, one on one with the keeper, but somehow he didn’t even tried to find the target and instead engage in dribbling moves that were destined to fail even before they started. Diabate is a highly skilled and experienced player and this attitude is unexplainable and there are voices in the online world that even accuse him of doing it on purpose…
Fullback Poundje started the game because Contento had a minor injury and needed time to recover. Poundje was often outplayed on the left side and put teammates in dangerous situations. Now Contento should take his place in the lineup improving the defensive strength.
Central defender Pallois was not any better than Poundje but unfortunately there’s nobody to replace him. He had a couple of failed interventions and clearances and ended up serving the ball to opponents on a silver platter.
Midfielder Sertic suffered an injury last week and most probably will sit out this round.
In normal conditions Bordeaux could surely take at least a point from St Etienne (the way they look now) but not with some of the most important players underperforming.
UPDATE: Hosts will have to do without central defender Perrin. Bad news for Bordeaux as well as they will miss keeper Carrasso.
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Théophile-Catherine, F.Pogba, Brison, Clerc, Bayal, Assou-Ekotto – Pajot, Clément, Corgnet, Lemoine, Diomandé – Bahebeck, Roux, J.Bamba, Hamouma, Monnet-Paquet
Bordeaux: Lefébvre, Prior – Contento, Gajic, Guilbert, Pallois, Poundjé, Yambéré – Chantôme, Khazri, Maurice-Belay, Poko, Ab.Traoré – Kiese Thelin, C.Diabaté, Rolan, Saivet, T.Touré