A tactical switch by Christophe Galtier was instrumental in ASSE’s victory over Lorient.
Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier raised a few eyebrows against Lorient when, with his side drawing 0-0, he replaced striker Melvut Erding.
Netherlands international striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel had been warming up on the touchline, and many fans in attendance might have expected either he or forward Kevin Monnet-Paquet to have entered when Erding’s number was held up.
However, instead, Galtier opted to throw Yohan Mollo into the mix, leaving the Greens without a recognised forward.
The switch worked a treat as, without a focal point, the ASSE forwards became more fluid in their movement. This distracted and ultimately disorganised Lorient’s backline and it was Mollo who broke the deadlock with a deflected long-range effort [see vid below].
Max-Alain Gradel later added a second as Lorient searched for an equaliser, following fine work from Franco-Algerian Romain Hamouma. Indeed, interaction between the two wideman characterised Saint-Etienne’s play after Erding’s removal.
Could this tactic be the new way forward for Saint-Etienne as they seek to secure European qualification?