PARIS: Claude Puel became the first Ligue 1 coach to be dismissed this season after bottom side St Etienne suffered a 5-0 loss at home to Rennes on Sunday.

The former Monaco, Olympique Lyonnais and Leicester City boss paid the price for winning just two of 17 matches this term, leaving St Etienne behind Metz on goal difference at the foot of the table.

St Etienne released a statement that said Puel had been relieved of his duties in charge of the first team until further notice. It effectively brings an end to Puel’s two-year spell in charge at a club that was put up for sale in April.

Rennes heaped more misery on St Etienne as Martin Terrier scored his first career hat-trick. A comical own goal by Yvann Macon and a late strike by 17-year-old Lesley Ugochukwu completed the rout.

The emphatic result took Rennes to second place, 11 points behind runaway leaders Paris St Germain. Rennes have a two-point lead over third-placed Olympique de Marseille.

Nice lost at home for the third game in a row as they went down 3-0 to Strasbourg. Ludovic Ajorque gave Strasbourg a first-half lead before Habib Diallo and Adrien Thomasson added late goals.

Monaco are level on points with Strasbourg in seventh after thumping Metz 4-0. Forward Sofiane Diop found the net in the opening minute, with Kevin Volland, Gelson Martins and Wissam Ben Yedder adding second-half goals.

Lyon’s defensive frailties were again on display as the seven-time champions twice relinquished the lead to draw 2-2 at Girondins Bordeaux, keeping Peter Bosz’s team in 12th place in what has been a middling first season in charge for the Dutchman.

In-form Elye Wahi scored as Montpellier beat Clermont 1-0, Angers won 2-1 at Reims and Nantes ended a five-game winless run by defeating Lorient 1-0 away.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2021

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