Guingamp moves up to 6th place with 2-0 win at Strasbourg
PARIS (AP) Veteran forward Jimmy Briand had a hand in both goals as Guingamp moved up to sixth place in the French league with a 2-0 win at Strasbourg on Friday.
The win moved the Brittany-based side two points ahead of Nice and four behind Nantes, as Ligue 1 resumed following its annual winter break.
Forward Yannis Salibur opened the scoring for the visitors in the eighth minute and midfielder Nicolas Benezet doubled the lead with just 16 minutes played.
The 32-year-old Briand, who made five appearances for France from 2008-12, made the difference on both goals.
For the first, he expertly took down a high pass and directed a cushioned pass toward the penalty spot. The Strasbourg defense failed to react quickly enough, and Salibur profited from the confusion to delicately clip the ball over advancing goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja.
Then, cutting in from the left, Briand picked out Benezet's run with a well-weighted pass. Benezet took one touch to move the ball into his path before finishing confidently from just inside the penalty area.
"We controlled the game well," Briand said. "We're climbing up the table and we'll see where it takes us."
Briand is up against his former club Lyon, which visits on Wednesday. He played four seasons with Lyon before joining Guingamp three years ago.
Strasbourg, meanwhile, is in 11th place ahead of this weekend's matches.
On Saturday, defending champion Monaco is at Montpellier - which is in eighth spot and has the best defense in Ligue 1 - while league leader Paris Saint-Germain is at Nantes on Sunday.
PSG is nine points ahead of Monaco.
Also on Sunday, third-place Lyon hosts Angers.
Updated January 12, 2018