hell is paved with unforgettable moments

hell is paved with unforgettable moments

A week later the poor show Geoffroy-Guichard gotAfter the defeat of AS Saint-Etienne in penalties against AJ Auxerre, which is synonymous with the descent to Ligue 2, we tend to delve on the side of the Greens and their supporters.

The feeling is perfectly mediated by MC Pampille, who has “babaud” placed online in his latest creation.

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So green people just want to be “happy again.” For this, the first soothing historical element, Saint-Etienne never remained in the purgatory for more than three seasons before returning to the elite.

So if Rodez, Niort or Pau are a smaller dream than Paris, Marseille or Monaco, it’s good to remember that Ligue 2 has in the past reserved beautiful moments of football and community between the team and its supporters.

Of course, we will overcome the difficult period of the mid-1990s, when the Forézien club, in complete confusion, approached the descent to the National for two seasons in a row.

2003-2004: from Niort at the reception of Châteauroux, legendary matches




Damien Bridonneau, main hero of the 2003-2004 season. Photo Le Progrès / Celik ERKUL

Let’s go back to the year 2003-2004, during which, after two seasons in the soft underbelly of L2, the Greens quickly took the lead. A few days before the end, the rise is increasingly likely for Frédéric Antonetti.

This was confirmed on May 7, 2004 on the Niort field (1-0), thanks to a hit by Frédéric Mendy. Emotions are strong on the ground, where Captain Patrice Carteron and his teammates celebrate this climb, but also in the stands generously filled with Saint-Etienne supporters.

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After the Greens passed the goal first against Gueugnon (draw against Geoffroy-Guichard) and then in Le Havre (defeat 1: 0), the Greens have only the last day against Châteauroux to be able to afford the title of French champion at the expense of Caen. in reserve. And you have to win.

This last match, which was played in a molten cauldron, remains one of the most memorable in the history of the Greens. Patrice Carteron’s opener, from a penalty after half an hour of play, then Castelroussine’s equalizer and finally Damien Bridonneau’s liberation in the last minutes: it was all about intensity. Starting with a striker from the right side of Saint-Etienne.

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After the party in Geoffroy-Guichard, the whole of Saint-Etienne is flooded with cheers and thousands of people gather in the Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, where players come to wield the champion’s trophies.

Note that this great team, where we can find Janot, Sablé, Compan or Hellebuyck in particular, also cleaned up the season in the Coupe de la Ligue. After the elimination, Lille and Nice, among others, lost to Geoffroy-Guichard after extra time (3: 2) against Sochaux, the future winner.

1998-1999: title and incredible match against the Red Star at the Stade de France

After Saint-Etienne flirted with the relegation in the National for two consecutive seasons, he lived that 1998-1999 dream. As if the effect of the World Cup and the first coronation of the Blues of Zidane strengthened something on the side of the Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium, which was completely rebuilt on the occasion of the World Cup.

Since this season, during which the Saint-Etienne team, formed by Robert Nouzaret among the young branches and “old grognards” around Captain Ferhaoui, has been somewhat slowly confirming the climb promised to them at the end of winter, we will remember where the elite will win their ticket. It was May 1, 1999, in a draw (2: 2) at Geoffroy-Guichard against AC Ajaccio. An ascent celebrated by an impressive invasion of the country.

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The next match will be recorded in the chronicle of this season and in the history of football. It takes place on March 10, 1999 at the Stade de France. The environment, which experienced the coronation of Aimé Jacquet’s Blues eight months ago, hosts a league match for the first time. The Red Star president took the initiative and rented a stadium from world champions to celebrate the Greens on their way back to the elite.

The match was played in front of more than 45,000 spectators (which is still the record of the 2nd league match) and the Red Star more than fair play gave Saint-Etienne the opportunity to play under its colors. The evening is extraordinary in many ways and the singer Renaud, a fan of the Greens, is also starting.

That evening against the Red Star, who are fighting to keep them coming down, Saint-Etienne quickly took the action and led 2-0 at halftime thanks to surface fox Nestor Subiat and then a miracle signed by Lucien Mettomo.

Alonzo is injured, replaced … Revelles

The hairs are interconnected, but the other half is a little less idyllic. First, because the Red Star lowers the mark without ultimately having a negative impact on the result. But mainly because Jérôme Alonzo seriously injured his ankle during the air trip.

Goalkeeper Saint-Etienne will not play again until the end of the season and has left his place to young Jérémie Janot, the future emblematic goalkeeper of the Greens.

But there was no substitute goalkeeper on the Stade de France bench and it was striker Patrick Revelles who put on gloves to save the score heroically.

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After this magical evening, Sainté will have to wait fourteen years and the League Cup final to step on the Saint-Denis lawn again.

While the Greens are crowned French D2 champions despite slow finals (3-0 defeats in Amiens and Sedan, a draw against Châteauroux), Saint-Etienne celebrates his heroes on May 25 at Place de l’Hôtel-de-Town. A moment of communion and sharing between a loyal audience and a well-coordinated team.

1985-1986: Comeback and record crowds against Le Puy

In the early 1980s, the slush fund affair plunged the ASSE into crisis and then into the 2nd Division in May 1984.

Two years later, the club, now run by André Laurent and coached by Henry Kasperczak, returned to the elite after dominating Group A of the French D2 Championship. A small problem, however, the Greens are not crowned champions after losing in the extension of the 2nd Division final against Racing Paris, at the beginning of their relegation two years earlier.

During this second consecutive season in purges, we will commemorate the match of the 7th day, which will coincidentally be a derby against a neighbor, not Lyon, but Ponota.




42,584 spectators: ASSE-CO Le Puy, on August 23, 1985, holds the record for attendance at the 2nd League match at Geoffroy-Guichard. Archive of progress photos

CO. Le Puy also comes to Geoffroy-Guichard, on August 23, 1985, as the leader of this Group A. And we can say that the crowd is there. With 42,584 spectators, this ASSE-Le Puy still holds the record in the highest attendance of the 2nd league match in the cauldron.

A record that will never be surpassed, except for the idea of ​​an unlikely expansion of the stadium, because since the work on Euro 2016, the capacity of Geoffroy-Guichard is 41,965 seats.

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During this match, which actually began its season, AS Saint-Etienne de Castaneda, Milla or Fisherman straighten the record a bit and gain regional dominance.

1962-1963: express and crushing passage in D2

For the first time in its history, it is involved on the European scene (Coupe des Coupes) after winning the Coupe de France, however, it was in D2 that the ASSE developed during the 1962-1963 season after the last catastrophic exercise in the elite, which ended in descent.

Paradoxically, it was in this season that the first lines of the two-year domination of French football were written “in purgatory”. The Greens are in the lead and record only three defeats in 36 days.

However, collected 6: 1 with Aix-en-Provence, dead at the end of the season, is a bit of a stain. However, Saint-Etienne immediately returned to the top competition, winning his first French D2 title and continuing his second D1 title the following season.

At the dawn of (re) discovery of Ligue 2, Saint-Etienne can at least say that the four previous relegations have led to so many returns in a maximum of three seasons and at the end of the day three league titles.


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