#ASSE #leave #place #road #blocker #worst #time
At the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium,
The north corner of Parc OL took advantage of the famous 42nd minute of their match against Nantes (3-2) on Saturday to display an unmistakable banner for the Lyon players: “Save the season, lose at Clermont”. And this to try to take the Greens to Ligue 2 next week. Except that Clermont (16th) finally came out of the woods even before his match against OL, during day 38 of L1. On the other hand, in their misfortune of having definitively abandoned their European ambitions on May 8 after the improbable defeat in Metz (3-2), OL has played a very dirty trick on their neighbor and historical rival.
Because that place outside the red zone (17th or 18th) that AS Saint-Etienne had occupied for two and a half months was compromised in the middle of the final sprint by the poor performance of the Olympian Saint-Symphorien. Until emerging on Saturday, one day from the end, in a disaster scenario behind closed doors against Reims (1-2) that could condemn both Girondins de Bordeaux and Pascal Dupraz’s band, now 19th, to relegation.
“Amazing athletic deficiencies at this level”
He easily admitted that he feels “consternation and despondency”, after this “defeat of too many”, and before trying to save the club next Saturday in Nantes during a new multiplex full of suspense, in which FC Metz (again 18th in difference of goals) will challenge PSG. in the Parc des Princes at the same time. “By dint of not scoring points while they’re catching up with us, this game against Reims was of paramount importance,” continues the former Toulouse coach. It’s simple, since their precious victory (1-0) on March 6 against Metz, their direct competitor in the play-off place, the ASSE has only added 6 points out of 30, with spectacular cracks in the second half (from 0 – 2-6-2 in Lorient and 0-2-4-2 in Nice on Wednesday).
“Our first half was good today, we could have taken advantage of it. Then, in the second half, it is always the same shortcomings that come back, in particular the athletic shortcomings that are disconcerting at this level, ”the Haut-Savoyard coach points out harshly, before continuing with his surprising experience on the subject. .
There are too many players who sadly don’t have the athletic skills to meet the Ligue 1 requirements. For too many players, there’s no more gas in the engine, it’s a real problem. There is also the question of cubic capacity, and it is difficult to change it. »
Good performance in Nantes or eightfold Mbappé against Metz?
Do the Saint-Etienne players confirm this surprising analysis? “We saw around the 60th minute tonight that we gobbled down the soup a little [et non la trompette, sic] and that we couldn’t hold the ball, approves Wahbi Khazri. Therefore, Reims inevitably sent us waves. It will take 20 men to do the maximum in Nantes and now we have to put our c…”. A 100% guaranteed formula fights for maintenance that his coach will not deny, who wrote two of his main feats in a day 38 of L1, during a Sochaux-ETG (0-3) of 2014 and the essential Angers- TFC (2-3) of 2016.
The Greens will have to get a better result in Nantes than FC Metz will do in Paris, with less than two defeats… with an eighth from Kylian Mbappé in the key, the Lorrains having a six-goal advantage over Sainté. Who knows ? But how did ASSE find a way to lose its place as a play-off that seemed to come to it, moreover, against Stade de Reims (12th) with nothing else at stake?
Falaye Sacko’s long injury was expensive
“Since December 15 I’ve been messing around”, Pascal Dupraz releases, to justify this news disaster class of his defense in the fifth, systematically pierced in the second half, especially by the agility of the promising Hugo Ekitike, who came into play at halftime. Of their four straight defeats (current series at its worst), the Greens have conceded 12 goals. How can we seriously imagine scratching maintenance savings points by conceding three goals per game on average?
The lengthy injury to hard-hitting winter rookie Falaye Sacko (he entered the match on Saturday) did not help Ligue 1’s second-worst defense with now 76 conceded. To this is added a lack of success, between “a conflictive situation” with the draw denied to Romain Hamouma due to a slight contact on the arm of Predrag Rajkovic (1-2, 72nd) and a foul by Wahbi Khazri flirting with the skylight of the Reims goalkeeper in added time, and you have more than ever a good composite portrait of a relegated in power.
“We can be in our place”
And as Pascal Dupraz pointed out, this broken dynamic, after the run of 4 wins in 6 games in the winter, highlights the inability of this team to deliver a complete game. The intense pressure of the first half on Saturday gave way to a group completely isolated and lost to the rapid counterattacks of Reims. “We knew that as the match went on, there would be more and more space,” Stade de Reims captain Yunis Abdelhamid said. The more the match progressed, the less intense the runs and the pressure from Saint-Etienne. We knew how to take advantage of it. »
Like so many others before them. What pushes Wahbi Khazri to a lucid observation: “The reality is that after 37 days, we are 19. We may be in our place, but we intend to remain mobilized.” Pascal Dupraz, for his part, likes to remember that his players were “dying” when he replaced Claude Puel and Julien Sablé on the bench, with only 12 points against at the break. They’re not that far from it from Saturday night and this disastrous turn cost them 18th place.