At the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium,
The disaster scenario took place this Saturday in Saint-Etienne. Namely that of paying the high price of a birthday of the Green Angels celebrated without surprise against AS Monaco with dozens of smoke bombs. The following total camera therefore comes at the worst time, during an extremely tense 37th day of Ligue 1.
And yet, facing a Stade de Reims (12th) well wedged in the soft underbelly, the Greens had the means to keep their place as a play-off, with 3 points ahead of Metz and 4 over Bordeaux before the meeting. Beaten (1-2) after a disastrous second period, Pascal Dupraz’s men are now 19th, ahead of goal average (six goals) by Metz.
The cold snap from the start
Sainté did not even last two minutes to concede his 75th goal of the season. A funny performance since the Rémois had so far not exceeded the center line. Even when they give the impression of entering a meeting well, the Greens are always able to quickly recall how dramatically permeable they have been for many months.
Mitchell van Bergen (0 goals and 0 assists this season in Ligue 1) thus mystified both Yvann Maçon and Saïdou Sow by taking the ball on his left wing. Paul Bernardoni made a good save against Ilan Kebbal on the center back from the Dutchman, but Marshall Munetsi concluded the action and put a big blow behind the head of the Stéphanois (0-1, 2nd). The scenario of yet another disappointment, especially in this gloomy atmosphere, then took shape.
A misleading reaction
ASSE reacted only ten minutes later, thanks to a corner muddled by Yunis Abdelhamid, which allowed Eliaquim Mangala to equalize with a mine from the left (1-1, 12th). This was followed by a very clear highlight from Pascal Dupraz’s men, with several big opportunities to take the lead, like on a header from Ryad Boudebouz not strong enough (17th), and two attempts from Mahdi Camara repelled by reflex saves by Predrag Rajkovic (21st and 27th). But given the completely upside-down second half of Saint-Etienne, this good sequence does not weigh very heavily.
Hugo Ekitike and the Rémois bring Sainté closer to Ligue 2
How could the Stéphanois get into their second half so badly? It’s a mystery in view of the sword of Damocles hanging over the club since the start of this difficult season, or almost. It took two miraculous saves from Miguel Trauco and Saïdou Sow (55th), then a shot very close to the skylight from Hugo Ekitike, who came into play at the break (56th), to repel the cruel acknowledgment of failure. The ASSE defense finally gave in on the first goal in Ligue 1 by Kamory Doumbia (19), who easily got the better of Eliaquim Mangala on the spot (1-2, 55th). Between Ekitike’s strike on the post (83rd) and an incredible save from Paul Bernardoni against Dion Lopy (85th), Sainté came close to an even greater disappointment, and made serious consequences with the success of FC Metz against Angers ( 1-0), while Bordeaux was unable to beat Lorient (0-0).
To top it off, the Saint-Etienne players felt aggrieved when Romain Hamouma was denied the equalizer for a goal scored in two stages, lightly touching Rajkovic’s arm on the spot (72nd). Clément Turpin may have been arrested by the whole Cauldron, around thirty people, so he did not go to check the VAR images himself. Add to that a superb floating free kick from Wahbi Khazri who flirted with the skylight of a badly beaten Rajkovic… In a tense post-match context with incidents around the Cauldron, Sainté is now doing more than flirting with the League 2, in the shoes of a 19th when moving to Nantes next Saturday, and hoping that PSG beats Metz at the same time.