AS Saint-Etienne : [ASSE-MHSC] The trip to Saint-Etienne, I was there (unfortunately), for you | ASSE News

There are journeys where we question ourselves on returning home, asking ourselves “why did I go there?” The love of the jersey? Very probably. The loss of reason? Maybe also. The trip to Saint-Etienne fits perfectly into this category. However, this one was planned weeks in advance. With a 3h30 drive from Montpellier, it is one of the trips accessible by car. Small useful precision, the 3h30 of road, it is if you take the highway, our team of the day will choose a parallel route, at least, on the way.

It is at 4 that we will go to the Loire prefecture. Already present with me during the trip to Marseille, @Sazee34 and @VitoooHiltonnn are also part of it. Driving, @SavachierT is replaced by @Paicmhscc, just as friendly. It is also in his green Twingo 2 that we embark at 9am for this little journey. After recovering @VitoooHiltonnn in the Gard, we take the road, direction not Orange by the highway, but Alès, via the national road. After a short stop at the Château de Portes, in the north of Gard, we stop to eat in Lozère, on the heights of Lac de Villefort.

The start of the day under the sign of tourism will not stop there. A sign “most beautiful villages in France” placed on the side of the road alerts us. On the right, the village of La Garde-Guérin does not leave us indifferent. We stop immediately in a parking lot and discover this splendid medieval village. The climb to the tower overlooking the latter is not easy, but the effort is worth it: the view at the top leaves us speechless. Ah, Lozère and its beautiful landscapes, we will almost forget the initial objective of the day, to go to Saint-Etienne to watch the match. The minutes are ticking away, now no more breaks are allowed until the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium.

The arrival is around 4 p.m., after a small error in the route that almost brought us to Lyon. Finally, after more than 5 hours of driving, the Cauldron is in sight. The welcome will be warm from the police and stewards present outside the stadium. “Welcome to Saint-Etienne”, we could hear with a broad smile. The reception of the Saint-Etienne supporters will be much less benevolent. But let’s move on, after the traditional search, check of the ticket and the vaccination pass, here we are in the visitor parking lot. Located in the northwest corner of the stadium, when watching the game on TV, the parking lot opens directly onto the Magic Fans stand. The main problem in this one: the windows that separate our visitor area from the other stands located on either side. These windows have probably not been washed since the renovation of the stadium for Euro 2016 and strongly obstruct the view of the pitch… Problematic for attending a football match. So forced to take the height to no longer have these windows in our field of vision.

In any case, we couldn’t be closer to witness the first goal of the match, signed Elye Wahi. The action takes place before our eyes, the celebration takes place in front of the twenty euphoric pailladins in the 10th minute of play. This euphoria will diminish over the course of the match. The MHSC leaves the ball to the Etienne, but Omlin remains imperial. The more the minutes pass, the more we feel that the equalization is very close. The first turning point of the match will come when Jonas Omlin injured his shoulder, replaced by Dimitry Bertaud. In the park, do not panic, we say that the performance of the substitute goalkeeper last week can be repeated. But the hope will be short-lived, Hamouma will put the two teams equal. In the gallery, we feel that the wind has turned. Angry, @Paicmhscc isolates himself at the top of it, subsequently assisting ASSE’s second and third goals. In the park, no word manages to come out of the mouths of the pailladin supporters during these last 10 minutes. The disappointment is immense. The Saint-Etienne supporters took the opportunity to express their joy towards the visitors’ stand.

The end of the match is frustrating, especially since the players do not even come to greet the few supporters who have come to make the trip. The Magic Fans continue to send us their friendships by giving us the middle fingers, showing their buttocks, or by throwing a full bottle of Ice Tea straight into the nets surrounding the parking lot. In short, the best solution is to ignore and wait to be able to leave the stadium as quickly as possible and return to Montpellier. Stuck in the parking lot, we will finally be released more than 30 minutes after the final whistle. Our departure will be further slowed down, while the police escort, supposed to take us to the highway, gets in place. Because yes, our departure from the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium will be under close surveillance, we will be dropped in traffic jams a few hundred meters from the stadium.

The return to Montpellier will therefore be on the motorway. A faster journey, perhaps too fast for @Paicmhscc who will lose a point on his license in history. Obviously, it was not our evening. The little tour by the KFC of Valence will cheer everyone up a bit. A mixture of frustration and shame accompanies this return. But in no case the passion is affected. The calendar is out to plan the next trip. For my part, it will be in Bordeaux, the weekend of March 20. I will be there for you.