Montpellier brush aside Ajaccio
In-form Montpellier scored three unanswered second-half goals to claim a deserved victory over Ajaccio to provisionally lift them into first place in Ligue 1.
Montpellier had won their previous six competitive matches without conceding and, although they failed to make the breakthrough in the first half, proved too much for Ajaccio and took all the points thanks to goals from Younes Belhanda, Remy Cabella and top scorer Olivier Giroud.
The victory lifts Montpellier above Paris Saint-Germain on goal difference, but the capital club can reclaim top spot when they play Nice tomorrow.
Montpellier enjoyed better chances throughout the first half, but John Utaka was denied early on by impressive Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who then did well to keep out Marco Estrada's long-range effort just after the half hour.
In between those chances, the home side saw Cabella fire a first-time volley over following a lay-off by Giroud.
Montpellier were back on the attack at the start of the second half and Ochoa was again called upon to prevent Utaka from opening the scoring before Joris Marveaux sent a volley inches wide for the hosts.
Montpellier were pressing for a goal, but needed a penalty to break the deadlock as the hosts took a 52nd-minute lead from the spot. Benjamin Andre was penalised for his challenge on Bedimo and Belhanda coolly slotted home from 12 yards.
Having finally made the breakthrough, Montpellier quickly set about trying to double their lead and scored 12 minutes later through Cabella, who drilled a right-footed shot across Ochoa after being put away by Giroud.
Two minutes after that goal Montpellier added a third to wrap up the points, with Ligue 1 leading scorer Giroud netting his 16th goal of the season as he chested down a long ball before thrashing a superb left-footed volley past a motionless Ochoa.