2014/2015 French Ligue 1
  • Mathieu Duhamel (42')
  • Kassim Abdallah (90'+4')
  • Max Gradel (12', 82' PEN)

Gradel brace sends Evian down

Evian's relegation to Ligue 2 was confirmed on Saturday night as a late penalty from Max Gradel condemned them to a 2-1 defeat at home to St Etienne.
Evian needed victory to retain any hope of avoiding the drop, but, while Mathieu Duhamel's strike three minutes before the break cancelled out Gradel's opener, the Ivory Coast forward scored from the spot with 10 minutes left.
Evian then had Kassim Abdallah sent off in the final seconds.
The result leaves Evian, who have won only once in their last 10 matches, five points adrift of 17th-placed Toulouse with one match to go.
St Etienne are guaranteed at least fifth place, while third remains a possibility as they sit two points behind Monaco going into the final weekend.
Evian were the first to attack, but Clark Nsikulu could not find the target from Adrian Thomasson before Thomasson saw his attempted lob kept out by Stephan Ruffier.
But St Etienne scored with their first real chance as Cedric Mongongu's error gave Gradel all the room he needed and more to fire home from 20 yards.
That took the sting out of the match, but Evian finally responded with three minutes left in the first half as Pavel Ninkovic and Thomasson combined to set up Duhamel to fire home.
Evian almost snatched the lead three minutes into the second half, but Ruffier was quick to keep out Olivier Sorlin's flick from a corner.
Duhamel then brought a decent save out of Ruffier with a powerful effort from just outside the area.
But when Cedric Cambon brought down Gradel inside the area, it was the invitation St Etienne needed to kill off Evian and the Ivorian confidently dispatched the spot-kick.
Yeltsin Tejeda was denied a late equaliser when Fabien Lemoine cleared his header off the line and Evian's misery was complete when Abdallah was sent off in stoppage-time for hauling down Kevin Monnet-Paquet when through on goal.