OL-ASSE: 69 years ago, the very first derby
Olympique Lyonnais, founded barely a year earlier, had joined the top flight after the first season in its history. And for the first time, the French top division would experience a derby, a match that would become legendary over the years. A derby that nearly didn't happen until much later, because in the summer of 1950, when OL was founded, ASSE was on the verge of disappearing for lack of funds. Eventually, the club was saved and the derby would take place a year later, on October 28, 1951.
History saw the Stade de Gerland as the scene of this first clash in which Saint-Etienne were the clear favorite, thanks to their experience. However, it was Lyon who would win on this 11th Matchday in the top flight. In front of 17,000 spectators, they quickly gained the advantage as Fritz Woehl became the first goalscorer in derby history. The striker even scored twice as OL led 2-1 at the break. In the second half, Georges Dupraz, the first scorer in the club's history the previous year in the second division, widened the gap, before ASSE's René Alpsteg reduced the margin to give hope to his teammates, but it was Fritz Woehl who again made the difference that night. His hat-trick allowed OL to record the first of 43 victories against their rivals from Saint-Etienne.
The success has a slight Alsatian flavor as the man of the match, Fritz Woehl, had been scouted by then-OL coach Oscar Heisserer, who knew him from when the two played together in Strasbourg. This win would unfortunately not prevent OL from being relegated at the end of the season, but they would at least have the merit of having launched the rivalry in the best possible way.
History will remember that 64 years later, in the last derby in history at the Stade de Gerland before OL's move to Groupama Stadium, another Lyon striker stood out: Alexandre Lacazette imitated Fritz Woehl in scoring a hat-trick in a 3-0 victory and paying the perfect homage to his forbears -- and so the circle was closed.
At Stade de Gerland, Lyon.
D1 (Matchday 11): OL–ASSE 4-2 (2-1)
Goals: Woehl (23’, 36’, 83’ (pen)), Dupraz (63’) for OL. Rijvers (44’), R. Alpsteg (66’) for ASSE.
OL: Lergenmuller – Grillon, Rodriguez, Bonvin – Juillard, Tichy – Woehl, Flammion- Ninel, Dupraz, Roland. Manager: Heisserer.
ASSE: Ferrière – R. Alpsteg, Huguet, Fernandez – Bini, Domingo – Ferry, Rijvers – Haond, Nola, L. Alpsteg. Manager: Snella.