After the international break, when entering the Moustoir lawn this Friday evening, there were eight matches left for AS Saint-Étienne to try to stay in the top flight. A still distant goal for the Stéphanoise team, long a red lantern in the French championship. However, after having caught up with its direct adversaries, ASSE could now apprehend these eight finals with the firm ambition of saving its skin. Logically beaten against OM last weekend, the Forez club therefore intended to take advantage of this trip to Lorient to launch its final sprint. And the start of the match against the Hakes also foreshadowed a very good evening for Pascal Dupraz’s men.
Sanctioned by his club for the fight that occurred last Monday with Yanis Bourbia, goalkeeper of the reserve team of the Greens, Mahdi Camara did not seem to disturb the Saint-Etienne collective. And it’s not the unexpected injury of Enzo Crivelli (probably absent until the end of the season) just before the kick-off that tarnished the start of ASSE either. As proof, Bouanga and Nordin, replacing Crivelli at short notice, rewarded the visitors’ good start to the match and thus allowed their team to lead 2 goals to 0 after only 22 minutes of play. Lorient team which had never managed to win a match until then after conceding the first goal. Yes but now, the old demons caught up with the second worst defense in Ligue 1 and it was on a (new) individual error that ASSE scuttled and revived the Hakes.
Between anger and remobilization!
Guilty of a more than avoidable fault in the heart of his area, Timothée Kolodziejczak thus allowed Moffi to revive his team from the penalty spot before Koné equalized a few seconds before the break. The second period? A real shipwreck and a final score (2-6) reminiscent of the finest hours of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, recently retired. A huge slap then resulting in media outings, each more vehement than the other. “Shame on us”, thus struck Denis Bouanga at the final whistle. Anger largely taken up by Harold Moukoudi and Paul Bernardoni in front of journalists. A frustration to which Ryad Boudebouz tried to respond with philosophy.
With this in mind and as reported RMC Sportsthis Saturday, the Stéphanois striker did not hesitate to speak in the locker room: “move it… But together we can do it!” ensured in particular the number 7 of ASSE, well aware of the individual and collective sinking. For his part, Pascal Dupraz took his responsibilities. “I explain the defeat by my responsibility. That of the coach is to repeat to the players that football is respected. When you make this start, it is important not to add more on the pretext that you are leading 2-0. You have to respect the fundamentals, it’s essential and that’s what we haven’t been able to do. Even if the reduction of the gap comes early, we have a feeling that it will happen like this”he declared at the microphone ofAmazonPrime before castigating the attitude of his group.
“It is a collective shipwreck. It’s a sin of pride, a conceited attitude, not an attitude befitting a professional player. On the road to redemption, there are seven games left, and whatever the scores, we will be barrage after this day. It’s better than three months ago, but I want the players to understand that to leave ASSE in L1, you have to respect the game plan, get back to work for 94 minutes. Some have decided to go high rather than stay compact. The height of irony, we work all week on the fact that Lorient is a team that counters and we are countered.. Bitter and stunned, like an entire club, the 59-year-old tactician will have to remobilize his troops anyway because another final is already coming very quickly… From next weekend against Brest , the Greens will try to heal this terrible evening and this before finding Bordeaux in a meeting which already promises to be decisive for the maintenance.