On behalf of the 37ᵉ day, ASSE travels to Caen. In a sold-out stadium once again, the greens want to confirm their victory at home against QRM and keep their place in the top 10. For this, Laurent Batlles decides to make three changes, with the tenure of Sow, Fomba and Moueffek instead of Appiah, Monconduit and Bouchouari.
The match starts with Saint-Etienne who tries to enter, to impose their rhythm. If the Caennais get the first chance, it is the Krasso / Wadji duo who will make the talk thanks to the eleventh goal of the Senegalese striker (15ᵉ). In the process, Wadji well launched by Moueffek will miss his face to face with the opposing goalkeeper. No time to think for our goleador, who is going to score his twelfth goal of the season after a deflection all in touch from Krasso author of his twelfth assist of the season (25ᵉ). Halftime will be whistled on the score of 2-0 for the greens. Returning from the locker room, Wadji gets a huge opportunity for a hat-trick. Nothing more to report during this second half until the 83rd minute of play and a header from Mendy to reduce the score. Two minutes later, Essende will equalize for SM Caen. The score will not change, and the Saint-Etienne lose a place in the standings and find themselves in tenth place.
The Wadji/Krasso duo
The first half was splashed with the talent and complementarity of the Wadji / Krasso duo. The Senegalese striker has again shown that he is formidable when he is given space. A real devourer of spaces, he scored his 11th and 12th goals of the season. A second part of the high-flying season for Wadji. Krasso has once again shown that he is a player above the rest in Ligue 2. Author of magnificent technical gestures such as on Wadji’s second goal where his deflection with finesse and subtlety launched his attacking partner perfectly. Author of two assists, he consolidates his place as leader of the ranking in this sector with 12 units.
The Saint-Etienne midfielder has shown once again why he is essential to this team. Ball at the foot, he showed his quality of percussion, always wanting to move forward. He still has to improve in his last gesture even if he could have benefited from an assist on a magnificent opening in depth for Wadji who missed his face to face with the opposing goalkeeper. His contribution to recovery is unparalleled in the Saint-Etienne workforce. Moueffek puts an intensity above the other midfielders in his desire to recover the balls. The Saint-Etienne defense was put in very little difficulty when he was on the ground and took on water when he left, coincidence? Surely not.
The first half
From the start of the match, the Saint-Etienne team set their pace. A Moueffek / Fomba duo in midfield who will chain recoveries and transitions forward. A Wadji struggling on the front of the attack, in perfect symbiosis with the magician Krasso. Stirring pistons, constantly bringing danger to the coasts. Behind, Léo Petrot watches over the grain with a Briançon finding legs. A first half of a very good bill collectively, which allows the green to return to the break with a well-deserved two-goal lead.
Two more goals conceded!
While we were slowly heading towards a victory and a clean sheet, the Saint-Etienne decided otherwise. Two goals conceded in the space of two minutes, to return to the standard of the season. A passivity of the entrants, in particular Monconduit and Bouchouari who showed sufficiency and nonchalance and the whole edifice of Saint-Etienne collapsed. In the Batlles system, midfielders must protect their defense by cutting passing lines. Moueffek and Fomba had done it remarkably for 67 minutes of play, before their two substitutes sabotaged their work. When we see their comeback, we can find it a shame not to see a Gauthier or a Fall in the team for a few minutes.
An insufficient record against the top 5
If the second part of the season allowed us to find the top 10 of the ranking, something unexpected in December, we will have to analyze this season carefully so as not to reproduce the same errors. One thing is clear, the record against the top 5 in Ligue 2 is insufficient to hope to play the leading roles. Out of 10 matches in total, the record is 2 wins (Bordeaux and Bastia), 4 draws and 4 defeats, i.e. 10 points taken out of a possible 30. Since the return matches and the winter Mercato, 5 matches, for 3 draws and 2 defeats, or 3 points taken out of 15 possible. This “statistical” report shows that the Saint-Etienne team still has many shortcomings that will have to be quickly erased next season to consider joining the fight for the climb.