Max-Alain Gradel was on target with a penalty as Toulouse FC stopped the rot with a 2-0 home victory against SM Caen at Le Stadium.
Toulouse FC 2 – 0 SM Caen
In a flat first half, the closest either side came to scoring was when Andy Delort lifted the ball over the advancing Rémy Vercoutre only to see his effort land on the roof of the net (34′), but things livened up after the restart.
Caen came within inches of going in front just before the hour mark as Ronny Rodelin’s low cross from the left was turned against the bar by Jordan Nkololo (59′). Moments later, it was Toulouse who went in front. Delort’s ball into the middle was cleared as far as Ola Toivonen and the Swede’s shot was deflected in off Damien Da Silva for an own goal (61′).
The home side then put the game to bed as they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Gradel by Damien Da Silva. Gradel, the Ivory Coast international sent Vercoutre the wrong way with the resulting penalty (74′) for his third goal in all competitions since signing on loan from Bournemouth.
A first win in seven league games lifts Toulouse out of the bottom three and up to 16th place. Caen have won just once in six outings.
THE PLAYER: Max-Alain Gradel
Gradel has not made the impact Pascal Dupraz would have hoped for when he signed the Ivorian in the summer, but he won and then scored the penalty that secured a precious win here for his first league goal since netting on his debut against Paris Saint-Germain in August.
THE STAT: 49
The number of days that had passed between Toulouse’s last Ligue 1 Conforama victory – at Angers SCO on October 21 – and this welcome win.