Briand on target as Guingamp shake away hex


Jimmy Briand got the only goal of the game (22′) as EA Guingamp beat ESTAC Troyes 1-0 to seal their first away win in seven matches.

 ESTAC Troyes 0-1 EA Guingamp

Guingamp carried the league’s worst away record into their clash with Troyes at the Stade de l’Aube, and they nearly fell behind early on when South Korean target-man Suk Hyun-jun twisted clear in the box, but Christophe Kerbrat blocked his effort at the last (14′). The Bretons bossed possession after that early scare, though, and took the lead when Briand found himself unmarked at the back post following a Yannis Salibur corner to fire home his fourth goal of the season (22′). Guingamp continued to press forward and Marcus Thuram did brilliantly to win possession back in the final third before going for goal, but Troyes shot-stopper Mamadou Samassa made a smart save (25′). At the other end, Samuel Grandsir saw Samassa’s opposite number Karl-Johan Johnsson deflect his effort onto the crossbar (33′), and things got decidedly trickier for the hosts on the stroke of half-time, with François Bellugou sent off for a rash challenge on the effervescent Thuram (45′).

Ludovic Blas had a gilt-edged chance to take advantage of Guingamp’s numerical advantage minutes after the restart, but he fired wide after excellent build-up play between Thuram, Salibur and Jonathan Martins Pereira down the right wing (51′). The midfielder’s frustration turned to exasperation soon after, when he followed Bellugou for an early shower, picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Mathieu Delaplagne (62′). Curiously, Guingamp’s dominance never relented, and they could have won by more. Salibur flashed a shot at the Troyes goal that Samassa saved in instalments (70′) before Lucas Deaux side-footed wide after a Thuram cut-back (83′). Briand then tried to add gloss to the scoreline with an angled shot, but it sailed past the post (90+5′) and it ended 1-0.

THE PLAYER: Marcus Thuram
Briand may have got what proved to be the winner but Thuram was easily Guingamp’s most dangerous attacking outlet. The son of France ’98 World Cup-winning right-back Lilian Thuram, 20-year-old Marcus could barely have had a better defender to practice against growing up. His end product isn’t yet as impressive as his physicality, but there are signs already that the forward is ready to be thrown in on a weekly basis.

This was Guingamp’s first away win in seven Ligue 1 Conforama matches. Antoine Kombouaré’s men have not picked up all three points on the road since beating basement side FC Metz 3-1 in early August – Thuram’s league debut for the club.

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