Claude Puel hails St Etienne’s solidarity after derby victory over Lyon

New St Etienne manager Claude Puel praised the selfless efforts of his players after a dramatic 1-0 Ligue 1 win over derby rivals Lyon thanks to a late header from Robert Beric.

Only appointed on Friday and taking up his first role since being sacked by Premier League side Leicester, the French coach had been handed a baptism of fire with the Rhone-Alpes showdown.

Lyon had not delivered a Ligue 1 success since mid-August, but came to Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on the back of a 2-0 Champions League win at RB Leipzig.

The visitors thought they had broken the deadlock on the hour, but Houssem Aouar’s effort was ruled out by a tight offside call.

St Etienne goalkeeper Jessy Moulin then produced some good saves before – with the 90 minutes all but up – Ryad Boudebouz’s floated cross was planted into the top corner by Beric as the home fans erupted.

“To produce such a performance against Lyon, with so much solidarity as well as such respect for the tactics and our instructions is great, especially in such a short time,” Puel said at a press conference.

“This victory shows players the self-sacrifice and willingness that they are determined to put in a match.

“I am building something – but this beautiful start must not remain without progress being made.”

Lyon boss Sylvinho, meanwhile, was left to reflect on another largely-promising performance which failed to deliver a positive result.

“We’re obviously disappointed. I have the same feelings as I did after Amiens and Brest,” he said.

“We conceded at the end of the game again, but it’s even more frustrating in a derby.”

Sylvinho told a press conference: “I don’t regret my starting XI. It’s a system that gives me more stability and helps my players.

“However, I’m very concerned about our results. All our defeats come in the same way. I have to find our problems and work on the system.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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