Dec 13, 2013 at 7.30pm UK at ​Stade de la Mosson
MontpellierMontpellier HSC
0-1
St EtienneSaint-Etienne

Mezague (32'), Saihi (52')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Gradel (75')
Clerc (9'), Bayal Sall (66'), Hamouma (88')

Result: Rolland Courbis loses first game back at Montpellier HSC to Saint-Etienne

Rolland Courbis loses his first game back in charge of Montpellier as Max Gradel scores the only goal of the game to earn Saint-Etienne a 1-0 victory at Stade de la Mosson.

Max Gradel scored the only goal of the game as Saint-Etienne inflicted a 1-0 defeat home on Montpellier HSC in Rolland Courbis's first match back in charge.

The French coach was appointed as manager at the Stade de la Mosson outfit for the second time this week, but could not end their now nine-match winless Ligue 1 run at the first time of asking.

Saint-Etienne's French defender Francois Clerc vies for the ball with Montpellier's French mifielder Morgan Sanson and Montpellier's Ivoirian defender Siaka Tiene during the French L1 football match Montpellier vs Saint Etienne on December 13, 2013© Getty Images

Midfielder Franck Tabanou had two chances to give Saint-Etienne the lead inside the opening half-hour, with his first-time volley being kept out by Montpellier keeper Geoffrey Jourdren.

Tabanou tried his luck with his weaker foot a short while later, cutting inside from the left to unleash a 25-yard shot which may have had Jourdren beaten, but flew past the post.

It took until the 60th minute for Montpellier to show that they were also a goalscoring threat as an intended cross from Souleymane Camara's forced Stephane Ruffier into a reflex stop at his near post.

The hosts came even closer two minutes later when Saint-Etienne captain Loic Perrin nearly turned the ball into his own net, slicing a clearance past Ruffier and only a few inches wide of the goal.

Just as it appeared as though Montpellier were mounting some pressure, the visitors netted a 75th-minute winner as former Leeds United striker Gradel converted a Faouzi Ghoulam cross from close range.

The result lifts Saint-Etienne two places to sixth in the Ligue 1 table, while Montpellier are in 17th position, five points above the relegation zone and without a win since October 6.

Lyon's French coach Remi Garde looks on during the French L1 football match Olympique Lyonnais (OL) vs Guingamp (EAG) on November 2, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1AS MonacoMonaco33008359
2Saint-EtienneSt Etienne33005059
3Lyon32109457
4Paris Saint-GermainPSG32105057
5Marseille32104047
6Nice42025326
7Bordeaux31207525
8Angers31204225
9Lille31113304
10Toulouse31113304
11Troyes31113304
12Montpellier HSCMontpellier31112204
13StrasbourgStrasbourg311145-14
14NantesNantes310214-33
15GuingampGuingamp410338-53
16Rennes302145-12
17Caen301202-21
18Dijon301239-61
19Metz300316-50
20AmiensAmiens300307-70
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