Lyon chief accuses Saint Etienne keeper of hitting him

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has accused Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier of hitting him in the back following his side’s 2-1 away derby victory on Sunday.

Tension around the encounter between the local rivals had been high following a court decision to ban away fans from the game in Saint-Etienne.

Jimmy Briand struck three minutes into added time to secure a 2-1 win for the visitors, with the goal causing tempers to flare in the players’ tunnel after the full-time whistle.

“One of our doctors made a remark on his way back to the dressing rooms. Fabrice Grange, the Saint-Etienne goalkeeping coach, a former Lyon player and France international, thought it was a good idea to hit our doctor,” Aulas told Canal+.

“While I was trying to separate them, Stephane Ruffier gave me a big blow on the back.”

Before kick-off, Joel Bats, the former France international who is now Lyon goalkeeping coach, tied a club scarf to a goal net, prompting some Saint-Etienne supporters to climb over barriers in an attempt to confront him and remove the scarf.

Paper and plastic bags rained down towards Lyon goalkeeper Mathieu Gorgelin, forcing a brief stoppage in play just before half-time.

“I watched all the hubbub in the stands from the start of the game. Their supporters threw toilet paper at our goalkeeper. The officials didn’t see the reality,” Aulas complained.

“Luckily, it turned out well for us. What happened on the pitch is incredible. Some idiots managed to get onto the pitch after Joel Bats put one of our scarves in the goal.

“All of that is a shame as football is a party. With regard to Joel Bats, he was completely right to tie that scarf on. The supporters, who couldn’t watch the derby, deserved it.”