RECAP: WEEKEND FRENCH ACTION
Carlos Bocanegra and Saint Etienne powered through to their second straight victory with three points versus hapless Arles while Charlie Davies did not get off the bench in Sochaux's draw with Bordeaux.
Saint Etienne 2 - 0 Arles
A pair of goals just one minute apart was all Saint Etienne needed to discard last place Arles on Saturday afternoon at Stade Geoffrey-Guichard in Saint Etienne.
Carlos Bocanegra put in another workmanlike 90 minutes in defense for the hosts are have begun climbing their way back toward the top of Ligue 1.
Les Verts had the bulk of the chances in the first half with a couple open looks at goal that either just barely missed the target or were saved by Arles goalkeeper Cyrille Merville.
Saint Etienne were finally able to capitalize in the 51st minute when Emmanuel Riviere played a slick ball into Laurent Batlles who split two Arles defenders and redirected a shot past Merville.
Mere seconds later, the hosts doubled their lead by taking advantage of some atrocious defending by the visitors.
This time it started with Batlles playing in a ball that was intended for Riviere. The pass should have been contained and cleared by the Arles defense however Merville experienced some miscommunication with his back line which allowed Riviere to slip in and score into an open net.
The win rockets Bocanegra and company up the standings to sixth with 28 points and just three points out of first place.
Saint Etienne next will travel to first place Lille for a Wednesday showdown prior to their winter break.
Charlie Davies made the 18 man gameday roster for Sochaux but was an unused substitute in their 1-1 draw with Bordeaux. Davies may yet see time before the break as Sochaux travel to Monaco on Wednesday.
Quentin Westberg watched from the bench as the backup goalkeeper for Evian who drew 1-1 at Troyes.