Diallo denies Strasbourg in derby draw
The prolific Habib Diallo scored a second-half equaliser as FC Metz held RC Strasbourg Alsace to a 1-1 draw in their clash at the Stade de la Meinau on the opening weekend.
RC Strasbourg Alsace 1 - 1 FC Metz
Strasbourg could be forgiven for feeling rather heavy legged coming into this encounter barely 72 hours after beating Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1-0 in Bulgaria in their UEFA Europa League qualifying tie. However, coach Thierry Laurey freshened things up as he made five changes to his starting line-up for this clash between two famous names from eastern France.
One of those coming in was Kenny Lala, and the outstanding right-back from last season came close to giving the hosts a first-half lead here, playing a one-two on his way into the box before firing just wide.
That was a prelude to the opening goal, which arrived midway through the first half via a combination of two players who spent the whole of the game in Bulgaria on the bench. Dimitri Liénard delivered a low ball in from the left for Adrien Thomasson to slot home.
Liénard then had an effort disallowed for offside before the break, and Metz drew level within two minutes of the restart. Opa Nguette did well to pick out Diallo alone on the edge of the box, and he took his time before sweeping past Matz Sels and in to make it 1-1.
Ibrahima Niane later hit the post for the visitors, but last season's Ligue 2 champions could be pleased with a point to kick off their return to the elite.
THE PLAYER: Habib Diallo
The 24 year-old from Senegal was a standout last season with 26 goals as Metz romped to the second-tier title. Any doubts as to how he would handle the step up to the top flight were allayed as he got the equalising goal for his side here.
THE STAT: 1
Strasbourg have now won just one of their last nine Ligue 1 Conforama matches after this result.