The race to Ligue 2 | Derby delight for Habib Beye as Red Star climb into promotion spots

Two midweek fixtures in the Championnat National see the four sides with games in hand face-off, and it has seen further movement in the race for promotion to Ligue 2 as Habib Beye’s Red Star FC win a Parisian derby against Paris 13 Atletico (0-1) to climb into the top two promotion spots. Meanwhile, Martigues’ victory over Le Mans (3-1) on Monday evening opens up a two-point gap for Les Sang & Or at the top of the table.

Highlight on Habib Beye and Red Star’s defensive record – the third-best in France’s top 3 divisions

Former Marseille and Newcastle defender Habib Beye was pleased with his side’s performance in the Parisian derby against Paris 13 on Tuesday evening, speaking on Red Star’s social channels. Beye said that his side “had a strategy in place at the start that worked well and we were rewarded with a goal.” Former Angers veteran and Red Star’s eminent captain Cheick N’Doye (37) nodded in emphatically a cross from local lad Jovany Ikanga (21) to give L’Étoile Rouge the lead on the 29th minute.

However, it took some mental resilience and some organised defending to see off what was an aggressive Paris 13 side in the second half, fighting for their lives in the relegation places in the bottom six. Les Audoniens saw off the offensive, and Beye was pleased with the defensive solidarity that his side showed, explaining that his team has “built a very effective defensive block this season and it is a real satisfaction to see. Last season we were really offensive but we had the tendency to concede a lot of goals, this year we’ve kept a similar attacking dynamic but improved our defensive structure”. 

Red Star are indeed more defensively robust this season. They possess, in fact, the best defensive record in the third tier having conceded only 22 goals this season. Only Le Havre (14) and Lens (21) have a better defensive record in the top 3 divisions of French football this season.

The Championnat National table as of 28th March 2023

PositionClubGames PlayedGDPoints
2Red Star FC261645
4FC Versailles26744


At the weekend, there will be a key clash between Dunkerque and Red Star which could once again shift the balance of what has been one of the tightest races for promotion to Ligue 2 in recent years. Meanwhile, current leaders Martigues travel to struggling Le Puy, whilst Versailles host Châteuroux at Paris’s Stade Jean Bouin. In the Monday Canal+ fixture, Concarneau will host Sedan. 

GFFN | George Boxall

Photo Credit: Bazil Fleury – @icietailleurs55 on Instagram.


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