30 March 2012 | à 19h32

1971 : Destination Final

Flashback. Forty-one years after Rennes’ second success in the Coupe de France, Stade Rennais Online remembers the victorious final of 1971, against the Olympique Lyonnais. A look back at one of the highest points in the Breton club’s history.

1971 : Destination Final

Context and pre-game events

Six years after an unforgettable first success in the most revered competition in French Football, thanks notably to the realism of Daniel Rodighiero, Stade Rennes reached the final of the Coupe de France for the fourth time in its long history, following 1922, 1935 and 1965. On their way to the famous last step and before facing the Olympique Lyonnais, the club from the Breton capital had qualified at the expense of US Quevilly, Entente BFN, CA Mantes, AS Monaco, and against the Olympique de Marseille in a memorable semi-final. A relatively difficult journey, perfectly completed by Jean Prouff’s men, and which led the SRUC all the way to Colombes, for the last final in the history of the town’s stadium. To make it that far, Stade Rennais could rely on an infernal pair in attack, composed of Robert Rico, three goals during the competition, and of the club’s providential striker André Guy. Five times a goal-scorer before the grand finale, the former Lyon player affirmed himself as the Breton club’s “talisman” during the second half of the season. In order to prepare for the event in the best of ways, Rennes rising star Raymond Kéruzoré decided for his part to skip his university exams. Academic honours could wait.

On their side, the Lyonnais had to battle as hard as their Breton opponents in order to reach the final step. The “Gones” eliminated Bourges and Cuiseaux-Louhans, before defeating the neighbour and eternal rival AS Saint-Étienne. Defeated 2-0 in the first leg, the OL turned the game over in the return by winning by three goals to nil thanks to a hat-trick by their prolific striker Fleury Di Nallo. On that night, the “Little Prince” of Gerland was simply too strong for “Les Verts”. Lyon would then see off Dunkirk in the quarter-finals (3-2 & 3-1) before eliminating the FC Sochaux-Montbéliard in their semi-final (1-0 & 1-1). In the league, André Mignot’s team was only slightly ahead of the SRUC. In its ranks, the teams from Rhone-Alpes counted experienced players such as Jean Baeza, Serge Chiesa or André Perrin, but also young talented players such as Raymond Domenech, a tough young defender already making a name for himself both on and off the pitch. At only nineteen, the future national coach of France predicted victory for his men in an interview the night before the game. A little hint of arrogance which, four decades later, could not surprise anyone.

In the hours preceding the final, the whole region of Brittany waited feverishly behind their club, and dreamt of the arrival of a new trophy on the Vilaine banks. In the Breton capital, the shops were decorated with the original colours of the Stade Rennais. The city was bustling with impatience, and the fervour was just immeasurable. The charismatic Breton singer Alain Barrière even wrote an anthem to the Breton club for the occasion: « Allez Rennes » has since become a classic of its kind, just like the « Forza Bastia » of the Corsican club or the “Allez les Verts” of the legendary Saint-Etienne team. A few hours before the final, the Breton players were confident. Jean Prouff had prepared his troops in the calm atmosphere of Saint-Malo. Stade Rennais also benefited of the unconditional support of their fans, who flooded in the Olympic stadium of Colombes. On this 20TH June 1971, 30,000 Breton fans travelled to the Capital. Predictions were exchanged. Jean Prouff announced that his team had “at least the same chances, or even more” than Lyon to bring the trophy back home, while Rennes striker André Guy refused to express any resentment against his former club. The day before the game, the Rennes players took a train to the capital and were greeted at the Gare Montparnasse by the numerous supporters already present.

Rennes in ectasy

In an absolutely packed Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Jean Prouff’s men started the game with clear attacking ambitions, and created the first real chances. The Rennes players didn’t create any real danger around Yves Chauveau’s goal however. In fact, the twenty-two players seemed particularly cautious in the first half-hour of the final. The game was played on a low tempo, with both teams content in cautiously annihilating the occasional movements by their opponent. The Breton players showed interesting abilities in the play however, especially thanks to a well-oiled passing game. On the other side, the Lyonnais prefer to play with their attacking trio composed of Fleury Di Nallo, François Félix and Serge Chiesa. After this long observation round, Stade Rennais was very close to opening the score, but Robert Rico saw his goal disallowed for a challenge on the Lyon goalkeeper. The decision was discussable, but the goal would not stand. Despite dominating in terms of territory over the first forty-five minutes, « Loulou » Cardiet’s team-mates returned to the dressing room on a goalless draw. Despite being much better in the play, the Rennes eleven had all sort of difficulties creating real chances.

Following this lacklustre first half in Colombes, the game soon took off with the returns of the teams on the pitch. Playing mainly in counter-attacks, Lyon was very close to score at the 54th minute, when François Félix placed a good header just over the crossbar of Marcel Aubour’s goal. Lyon had gone close. Minutes later, Rennes scored the opener but André Betta’s goal (58ème) was wrongly disallowed for an offside position of Robert Rico. This resulted in a long interruption of the game, caused by vehement protestations from the Bretons. With the score still blank, Prouff’s players were scandalised by the referee’s decision and made it clear to Mr. Vigliani. At the same time, at the other end of the pitch, a rather peculiar scene happened. Some Breton supporters had thrown artichokes on the pitch in protest. It wouldn’t take more for Marcel Aubour to become the iconic figure of this 1971 edition of the Coupe de France. Indeed, the mischievous goalkeeper from Saint-Tropez offered a super demonstration to gobsmacked supporters. He removed the artichokes from the pitch in the way a pétanque player would, cleaning his penalty area with playful elegance. The image has remained famous ever since, and resulted in the goalkeeper being offered two boxes of artichokes by a cultivator from Henvic at his return. With this pantomime, Marcel Aubour built his place in the legend of French Football.

Lacking some cutting edge since the beginning of the game, André Guy had missed the target several times against his former team-mates. But the Rennais wouldn’t give up and kept on threatening the goals of Yves Chauveau. The reward came just after the hour-mark. On a ball lost by Lyon at midfield, Velimir Naumović transmitted the ball quickly to Guy. The Rennes striker controlled the ball and armed a limpid right-footed shot. The ball bounced off the upright but returned to him, forcing Lyon defender to bring him down in his 18 yards. Mr Vigliani, the game’s referee, didn’t hesitate for a second and pointed at the penalty-spot. André Guy converted the kick himself, placing a powerful shot in the top right corner of the unfortunate Yves Chauveau’s goal. The cloud of plaster exploding in the airs at the time of the shot also became one of the images of this final. Rennes was logically in the lead, under the acclamations of the Breton public (1-0, 63’). The Bretons had made the difference and found the cutting-edge they had been looking for since the beginning of the game. Despite more chances for Rennes at the end of the game, the score wouldn’t change. Colombes had reached boiling point.

Brittany celebrates its heroes

Thanks to a 63rd minute penalty by the inevitable André Guy, Rennes had managed its second Coupe de France victory against the Olympique Lyonnais, only six years after their first success in the competition against Sedan. Often in the past, Lyon had shined in the competition, but this time the incredible collective strength of the team brought together by the legendary Jean Prouff had made the difference. At the end of a remarkable personal performance, the iconic “Rouge et Noir” captain Louis Cardiet could exult and raise the Cup to the sky after receiving it from the hands of Jacques Chaban-Delmas, the prime-minister at the time. Louis Cardiet but also René Cédolin, the only men remaining from the 1965 winning team, reached the Graal for the second time in their career. With a special mention to the captain Cardiet, who did all the necessary work to control the best Lyon player Serge Chiesa during the 90 minutes of the game. The Breton player would then celebrate their success at the world-famous Lido cabaret, for a night they would never forget. Then, a triumphant return awaited them in Rennes on the following day.

Indeed, as soon as the game finished, and interminable concert of klaxons started in the streets of the Breton capital. In incredible scenes of jubilation, something unique according to the inhabitants of the time, the city celebrated without interruption until the morning. On the following day, as in 1965, it was a massive and enthusiastic crowd who escorted the winners of the 1971 Coupe de France from Rennes station all the way to the Town Hall. It took between two and three hours to the players and staff to manage the short journey, difficultly making their way through the streets of the Breton capital, jammed with supporters. The unique images of the Avenue Janvier remained in all memories. Perched on a lorry, the players finally managed to reach the Place de la Mairie, where the mayor Henri Fréville awaited them. The crowd was in raptures, while André Guy remembered his celebrated penalty-kick: « I wanted to place it to the right of Chauveau, with the inside of my right foot. I don’t know what happened, but I took it with the outside and the ball went to the left of the keeper. Fortunately, the ball slid under the crossbar, I would never have forgiven myself if it had gone out ». The legend also remembers that the Rennes striker had apologised to his manager Jean Prouff : « I beg you to pardon me for all the goals I missed”, he told him.

Three days after this great moment in the history of Stade rennais, the club from the Breton capital faced the Olympique Lyonnais as part of the 37th game week of the Division One championship. On that night, Aimé Mignot’s players offered a superb guard of honour to the Rennes players at their entrance on the pitch, in order to offer their respects to those who beat them in style seventy-two hours earlier. The Lyonnais finally took their revenge at the Stade de la Route de Lorient, finally winning by three goals to two. At the end of a particularly open game, Chiesa, Di Nalloa and Félix replied to Guy and Betta. But it didn’t matter, the Coupe de France was in Brittany for the second time in less than ten years. The finest page of Breton football had been written by the flagship club for a whole region. That triumph was also a reward for the work and principles of Stade Rennes’ iconic manager, « Monsieur Jean ».

This success in the 1971 Coupe de France 1971 remains the latest trophy to date in the history of the old Breton club. Still in contention in this year’s edition, Frédéric Antonetti’s men dream to know the same instants of glory as their elders from 1971. Will 2012 be the year of a third title for the SRFC? The future will tell us.
reste le dernier trophée majeur en date du vieux club breton. Toujours en course dans la compétition cette année, les protégés de Frédéric Antonetti rêvent à leur tour de connaître les mêmes moments de joie que leurs glorieux aînés de 1971. 2012, sera-t-elle l’année d’un troisième titre pour le SRFC ? L’avenir nous le dira.

Match Reports

Stade rennais 1 - 0 Olympique Lyonnais
Coupe de France, Final
20th June 1971

Stade de Colombes
Attendance : 46 801 spectators

Goal : Guy (63’ pen.) for Rennes.

- Stade rennais : Aubour - Cosnard, Cédolin, Chlosta - Cardiet, Garcia, Naumovic - Betta, Guy, Kéruzoré, Rico.

Manager : Jean Prouff.

- Olympique Lyonnais : Chauveau - Domenech, Mihaijlovic, Baeza, Valette (Lhomme , 78’) - Perrin, Prost, Chiesa - Félix, Di Nallo, Ravier.

Manager : Aimé Mignot.

Sources :
- http://www.om4ever.com
- Le Télégramme
- Wikipédia

Photos :
- http://www.om4ever.com
- http://thevintagefootballclub.blogs...
- forum footnostalgie

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