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St-Étienne find chink in Inter's armour

AS Saint-Étienne 1-1 FC Internazionale Milano
Moustapha Bayal Sall cancelled out Dodô's first-half finish to give his side a fourth Group F draw, and slow Inter's progress to the last 32.

Moustapha Bayal Sall roars with delight after hitting St-Étienne's equaliser
Moustapha Bayal Sall roars with delight after hitting St-Étienne's equaliser ©AFP/Getty Images

Dodô strikes opener as Inter enjoy a strong first half
Moustapha Bayal Sall levels with first goal Inter have conceded in Europe this term
Fourth successive Group F draw for St-Étienne
Inter four points clear at section summit with two games to go
Next games: Inter v Dnipro, St-Étienne v Qarabağ (27 November)

FC Internazionale Milano's knockout-phase reservation was cancelled – for the time being, at least – as Moustapha Bayal Sall secured a fourth successive UEFA Europa League Group F draw for AS Saint-Étienne.

Dodô opened the scoring, but his strike was a modest return for Inter's attacking investment in the first half, and they were left frustrated on 50 minutes as Bayal Sall drove in, Nemanja Vidić having inadvertently diverted Romain Hamouma's corner into the defender's path. It was the first goal Walter Mazzarri's side have conceded in six European games this season.

Inter peppered Stéphane Ruffier's goal with shots from the off; Bayal Sall had to block a Rodrigo Palacio effort on the line after the Argentinian had rounded Ruffier, and the centre-back promptly conceded a free-kick in the box for a back pass. Dodô was teed up from the resulting set piece, but his attempt clattered into the defensive wall spread along the goal line.

Ruffier then saved from Ibrahima Mbaye and Gary Medel, and managed to claw Palacio's header off the line on 33 minutes, only for 22-year-old left-back Dodô to steer the ball into the unguarded net.

Having drawn all of their previous Group F games 0-0, St-Étienne looked fairly toothless until Bayal Sall gave his attacking colleagues a finishing lesson on 50 minutes. Romain Hamouma then had a shot deflected wide off Palacio, and Juan Pablo Carrizo stood his ground to deny substitute Ricky van Wolfswinkel a breakaway winner late on.