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Le Derby – Madness in France

Written by De Twaalfde Man

The Derby Rhône-Alpes, Derby Rhônealpin or simply Le Derby, known as the most crazy match in France. Beautiful tifo, crazy pyro shows and a fierce rivalry. The battle between Saint-Etienne and Lyon is a war on the pitch, but more a war on the stands. The hatred between both sides is huge. Lyon is seen as the white collar city, where Saint-Etienne is the blue collar city. A classic rivalry between the elite and the working class.

At the 28th of October 1951 the first match between the rivals was played, won by Olympique Lyon 4-2. Now 66 years later, the 150th edition of Le Derby is played. It did not dissapoint me, but for the AS Saint-Etienne fans it will be a black page in history. After great tifo and pyro shows of both fanatic sides, Kop Sud and Kop Nord, the victory was claimed by Lyon. While ASSE was trying, Lyon was deadly efficient scoring five times, 0-5!

Le derbt is considered to by a high risk match. Only a couple of hundred away fans are allowed in the stadium, somewhere far away in a corner close to Kop Nord. From a distance both sides were looking for a confrontation. Just impossible to get together. Despite the fact that ASSE was losing, their ultras gave full support. Until the 65th minute when Lyon scored their 4th goal. Disbelieve on the faces of every supporter with a green heart. When Fekir scored Lyons’ fifth goal in the 85th minute, shit hit the fan. He provoked the ASSE ultras who stormed the pitch. The players needed to be protected by the riot police. A proper pitch invasion The match was abandoned for more than half an hour. The last five minutes were played for almost an empty stadium.

This is a victory of Lyon which will leave its marks in Saint-Etienne.

About the author

De Twaalfde Man

Passionate about football. Loves the game, especially al that happens around the pitch. Prefers to attend matches between the fanatics, the ultras, to experience football how it should be and if possible capture the passion on pictures telling the story. Crazy about authentic football culture, old stadiums and has a soft spot for the Balkans. Travels all around Europe and has been named "derby specialist" bij Panenka Magazine.

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