Ajaccio won their first away game last night as their 18-year-old debutant scored a dramatic double at Valenciennes.
Saturday night in Ligue 1 was full of late drama as we had three goals and two red cards in the last 10 minutes of games, and the repercussions could have a significant effect in the relegation battle this season.
The 18-year old Issa Baradji will grab all the headlines as he scored a double on his full debut for Ajaccio to give them their first away win of the season.
It was deemed a great chance for 18th-placed Valenciennes to gain some ground on Evian who sat only two points above them, and for 86 minutes it looked like they would overtake the side from Annecy. Two goals from Ghanaian super-signing Abdul Majeed Waris had sandwiched Benjamin Andre’s 62nd minute equaliser as Valenciennes took a 2-1 lead.
Issa Baradji had come on in place off winger Sigi Diarra with 24 minutes to go, the 18-year-old making his Ligue 1 debut. No one expected what would happen next. With only minutes remaining and Valenciennes set to win all three points, leapfrogging Evian out of the relegation zone, Baradji popped up to level the scores, finding the roof of the net with the equaliser.
Then down in Toulouse, Clarck N’Sikulu struck back to level Evian’s game with Toulouse. A dramatic late point for ETG. Then to compound the northerners misery, Paul Lasne of Ajaccio whipped in a dangerous cross and on the 90th minute Baradji pounced to head in a shock winner.
Utter misery for Ariel Jacobs side, then went from going one point ahead of Evian to dropping two points away from them. An amazing example of the crazy relegation battles that entertain the French public every season.
Elsewhere Bordeaux and Nice played out a relatively boring 1-1. Jussie’s penalty was cancelled out just four minutes later by Nice striker Alexy Bosetti. Abdou Traore saw red with only four minutes remaining.
Bastia moved up to 10th and put a huge dent in Reims European dreams with a 2-0 home win, Florian Raspentino and Gianni Bruno with the goals in the first half.
In Saturday’s other game, Nantes picked up their first win in 10 games as they beat Montpellier 2-1 in the Stade Beaujoire. Early goals from Serge Gakpe and Koffi Djidji doing the damage. Djidji scored an own goal as Montpellier tried to get back into it, but red cards to Joris Marveaux and Daniel Congre sealed their fate.
That was Montpellier’s 10th and 11th record of the league season. Bordeaux and Bastia are next in the discipline table with six each. What makes it more bizarre is that nine teams in Ligue 1 have more yellow cards than Montpellier. It seems it’s all or nothing for the 2012 league winners.