These times when Strasbourg grew up against OL

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Historically, OL have had little success at the RCSA, which has lost six of the ten duels between the two teams since its comeback in 2017, in all competitions (for two wins and two draws). But the Alsatians have several times relied on confrontations against the Rhodaniens to progress. This season, when they have six points more than their adversary of the day, a victory could allow them to stay in the race for Europe and dismiss Les Gones.

May 2018: Liénard’s free kick

Dimitri Liénard often evokes this legendary free kick, registered in a Meinau belching with relief for his team, promoted nine months earlier. Each supporter who comes up to him tells him about this goal that has remained forever etched in his memories, this parabola of the inside of his left foot in the skylight and this mad race by kissing the Racing crest 50 times (3-2, goal in the 90th+4).

Three years after having offered the RCSA to stay in this way, Liénard (34) will welcome OL as captain of a club of which he is the soul, adopted by the whole region, although a native of Belfort. “Dim” symbolizes both the history of Strasbourg and its new era, he who hesitated to extend his contract last summer. But he knew how to see what the new coach, Julien Stéphan, was going to bring. A technician who gave him a lot of responsibility and converted him into an excellent left piston.

January 2019: on the way to the League Cup

Installed in Ligue 1, Racing dreams of offering a new title to its warm supporters, who have been weaned from it since the Coupe de la Ligue 2005. The 2019 edition will be the good one. In the quarter-finals, Strasbourg goes to Lyon, one of the favorites still in the running. Ajorque and Koné scored in a match where they didn’t give up despite Traoré’s equalizer (2-1).

It was a click for the players, then nicknamed the “head cutters”, since they had previously eliminated Lille (2-0, in 16th) and OM at the Vélodrome (1-1, 4-2 pens, in 8th). “This Cup was not an objective at the start of the season, even less given the draws, but we have had an incredible journey”, then rejoices the president. Full of confidence, his players then left Bordeaux at La Meinau (3-2) and won the trophy by beating Guingamp (0-0, 4-1 on pens). The first of the Keller era.

The Strasbourg residents celebrate their final victory in the Coupe de la Ligue in 2019. (P. Lahalle/L’Équipe)

November 2019: the Simakan monster

Rising in power, like the first team, the Strasbourg training center released a nugget in the summer of 2019: Mohamed Simakan. It is against OL that the defender explodes. His twelfth match in L1, played at 19, gave rise to an epic duel against Moussa Dembélé, then top scorer in the Championship. “He is serious, he listens, he has a great future “, assures coach Thierry Laurey after the narrow defeat of his team (1-2).

A few months later, Simakan was transferred to Leipzig for €13.5 million (plus €2.8 million in bonuses). A windfall that allows the club to limit the financial damage due to the crisis (TV rights, Covid). “We had reserves, we were well helped by the State and we made salesanalyzed Marc Keller in October on France Bleu. We end up with a loss (€30m in 2020-2021) that we can bear because we have worked well. » This allows the club to fight for the podium this season.

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