Reims remain in drop zone

  • Last Updated: February 3 2013, 18:41 GMT

Reims remain in the Ligue 1 relegation zone after squandering a first-half lead in a 3-1 defeat at Montpellier.

Younes Belhanda: Completed the scoring for Montpellier
Younes Belhanda: Completed the scoring for Montpellier

Gaetan Courtet put the visitors in front on 33 minutes, but Montpellier equalised just three minutes into the second half through Souleymane Camara and went on to claim all three points thanks to goals from Marco Estrada and Younes Belhanda.

Estrada had the first chance of the game after just five minutes after he was found by Camara in the area, but his volley was saved by Reims goalkeeper Johnny Placide.

Camara then set up Belhanda for a shot from just outside the area but his right-foot effort only found the side netting.

It was therefore against the run of play when Reims took the lead just after the half-hour mark, with Johann Ramare's cross headed powerfully home by Courtet to leave the home crowd stunned into silence.

Montpellier regrouped and tried to find an equaliser before the interval, but Estrada's 30-yard free-kick was well saved by Placide.

It took the home side just three minutes of the second half to get back on level terms, a goalmouth scramble eventually leading to Camara pouncing on the loose ball to beat Placide from close range.

Reims sought to restore their lead and Grzegorz Krychowiak's header brought a good save from Geoffrey Jourdren, but it was Montpellier who went in front on 64 minutes when Estrada hammered an unstoppable free-kick beyond Placide from 20 yards.

And the points were made safe a few minutes later when Placide saved John Utaka's initial shot only for Belhanda to be on hand to volley in the rebound.