Four days after beating Bordeaux in Ligue 1 Conforama, Strasbourg again host Les Girondins, this time with a place in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue BKT at stake.
RC Strasbourg Alsace - Girondins de Bordeaux
Saturday's league game at Stade de la Meinau was decided right at the last by a goal from Kenny Lala, the in-form right-back who recently extended his contract through to 2021. Lala's fourth league strike of the season made it four wins in a row for Strasbourg, now sitting pretty in fifth place in the league, seven points and seven places better off than Bordeaux.
Strasbourg boss Thierry Laurey commented post-match: "We've got an important game on Wednesday and then another on Sunday. Bordeaux will come back looking for revenge and it will be another tight game. The two teams are very closely matched. The defeat was cruel on Bordeaux in a match where defences dominated the attacks. The match wasn't decided by much and it fell our way."
Bordeaux coach Eric Bedouet was mightily upset to have let a point slip to the last attack of the game: "It was a tight match with few chances. It should have finished in a draw but we ended up losing it. That's our fault because we weren't vigilant enough. There are players who need to wake up and learn to focus until the final whistle. It's disappointing and catastrophic to concede right at the end like that. Conceding in the final second is tough but we must look forwards. In order to play in the final we'll need to pull off an exploit and make up for this setback."
Costil: "They're on the Eiffel Tower at the moment"
Visiting captain Benoît Costil said: "There's a second round on Wednesday and we'll come to win. We defended well and it was decided with the last kick of the game with a dodgy bounce. They're on the Eiffel Tower at the moment, but all good things come to an end."
Strasbourg have twice won the Coupe de la Ligue BKT, in 1997 and 2005, but spent five years unable to play in the competition between 2011 and 2016 after losing professional status. Bordeaux have tasted Coupe de la Ligue glory on three occasions - in 2002, 2007 and 2008 - and only Paris Saint-Germain have won the competition more often. Now Bordeaux general manager, Ricardo was on the bench for the 2007 victory, achieved thanks to a 1-0 scoreline against Olympique Lyonnais.
Strasbourg fans would certainly settle for a repeat of last weekend's result, although they'd no doubt appreciate a more enjoyable game, despite the spectacular denouement. Defender Pablo Martinez conceded: "It was a really tight, closed off game, especially in the first half. I think there was zero pleasure there and the fans weren't enjoying themselves, but we offered them the best possible finish. We love those sort of sensations as only football allows you to live moments like those."
Strasbourg: Kamara; Lala, Koné, Mitrovic, Martinez, Caci; Sissoko, Fofana, Thomasson; Mothiba, AjorqueBordeaux: Costil; Palencia, Koundé, Pablo, Sabaly; Otavio, Plasil; Karamoh, Sankharé, Kalu; Briand