In what was only his sixth start of the season, former Liverpool striker David N’Gog scored his second of the season for Stade de Reims, helping them jump to eighth in Ligue 1.
It has mostly gone unnoticed but the two-time European Cup finalists have managed to go seven games unbeaten in the league and are one of the form teams in France at the moment.
The 25-year forward had missed most of November, making his return in the 0-0 goalless draw away at Nice last weekend, but his 10th minute goal at the Stade Auguste Delaune sparked Reims to a vital 2-1 win over Bastia.
It was the first real attack of the game for Reims, when N’Gog shook off the attentions of both Romaric and Francois-Joseph Modesto before firing past France under-21 goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.
Bastia would level it up in the second-half through Modesto, but Reims sealed the win after Benjamin Moukandjo latched on to Gaetan Charbonnier’s pass, to give the Jean-Luc Vasseur his fourth consecutive home win as Reims coach.
Reims’ home wins have come against Bastia, Lille, Montpellier and Bordeaux, impressive in itself, but away points at Nantes, Monaco and Nice have helped the side from the Champagne region shake off their early tags as relegation favourites.
With Vasseur coming in this summer, the questions marks were raised after he lost five of his first seven games, but after the 3-0 defeat away at Metz, things have picked up.
Their next three games are against Lyon, then Guingamp and Evian at home. They may not remain unbeaten, but there is definitely a chance for N’Gog’s club to pick up more points.
What Reims has lacked at times is a goal scorer, and David N’Gog was brought in to try and provide Reims with a cutting edge upfront. Vasseur will be hoping this is the start of N’Gog’s season. Up to eighth at the moment, if the former Liverpool man can add to his two strikes this season, who knows, there could be a return to European football for this once great club.