All around Europe the season is coming to an end. In Paris as Paris Saint-Germain fight for Le Championnat across the city Red Star FC 93 are fighting to stay in the Championnat National and avoid dropping to the amateur leagues. The last time we checked in with Red Star was back in February when they drew 0-0 with city rivals Paris FC.
Ten games have passed since then, and the results have been very inconsistent, only three wins and 10 goals, four defeats and three draws saw the side still lead by Vincent Doukantie slip back towards the relegation zone.
Friday just gone saw US Créteil visit the Stade Bauer in what was becoming a must win game for the home side. The visitors are currently safe in a mid-table position, a few months ago the side from the outskirts of Paris were potential promotion candidates but their form dropped and they find themselves 11 points adrift of the top three.
Créteil didn’t read the script and they took a very early lead when Maxime Partouche turned in Marcel Essombe’s cross from the right. Jean-Christophe Bouet had no chance of keeping it out and the home side had it all to do.
Red Star reacted well and Yann Kerboriou was put into action and had to make a couple of excellent saves. First a 20 yard strike from Farid Beziouen was turned round the post. Laurent Gagnier had an excellent chance when Jeremy Abadie put in a great cross but Gagnier’s header went straight to the ‘keeper.
Finally after 19 minutes the home side would find a way past Créteil’s French goalkeeper. Mamady Kébé broke free down the left his low cross was perfectly place and Beziouen had timed his run perfectly and had the simple tap-in to level the scores.
Bouet had a couple of saves to make before the half-time whistle went. Doukantie’s half time talk worked a treat as Red Star came out of the blocks quickly and after only four minutes of the second half they had taken the lead.
Winning a free-kick it was taken quickly and played down the right to Beziouen, the midfielder cut the ball across the box, centre back Samuel Allegro got a touch which fell to Geoffrey Malfleury and the forward wasn’t going to miss from three yards out, his 15th goal of the season.
Late on Frederic Marques tested Bouet with a header, but the ‘keeper reacted quickly tipping it over the bar. That was nothing compared to the fantastic double save he would make when Partouche was left free six yards from goal, it looked like a certain goal but Bouet recovered and saved with his legs and then smothered up a second attempt, wonderful goalkeeping from the 28-year old.
That would signal the end of the match, a vital three points for Red Star as they try to keep their heads above the relegation zone. With three games left they are six points clear of Martigues who lie in 18th position. The run-in won’t be easy – away games against Le Poiré-sur-Vie and Fréjus St-Raphael – both teams that are safe in mid-table. In between these games Red Star host Vannes on the 18th of May, the last games at the Stade Bauer. Vannes are fighting for promotion so a victory will be a huge asks.
Tomorrow night if Red Star can bring a point back from Brittany then it could be enough to secure another season in the third tier. Defeat would put pressure on Doukantie’s side. Everyone at French Football Weekly wishes the team well. ALLEZ RED STAR