In the hallways of St.Gallen Stadium, the media needs more patience after the games. If he wins FC St.Gallen – and he does a lot at this point – it seems like the on-field festivities are hardly near the end. Yesterday, after 4-1 against Neuchâtel Xamax, the standing ovation in the audience was especially long and emotional. Down in the toy tunnel, President Matthias Hüppi shines brightly in the middle of the Jubilee to capture his team’s solid dances – before briefly lifted by goalie Dejan Stojanovic into the air.
St.Gallen beat Xamax 4: 1 – Impressions from the Peat Festival
Then Cedric Itten and Co. give information and come to similar conclusions: The mood in the team is as good as the one in the stands, confidence increases and grows with each victory.
All this gives the impression: St.Gallen's victory in this Super League is very easy. The last time the team lost at their own stadium on August 10, it was unlucky 2-3 against the Young Boys.
«Hard mental game»
Everything simple? Of course not, says coach Peter Zeidler after the match. The two-week break after the defeat in Bern was mentally difficult. That adds to the pressure of expectation. 14,500 spectators came in yesterday, which is a very good value for the November game against the Xamax, the league's second-last. And it was clear what everyone was expecting: spectacle and victory. It is not in itself clear that the young team provides the ease with which they return to business and the expectations in the audience are easily released – or rather inspired.
However, in the match against Neuchâteler, there was one moment or another when the euphoria was inappropriate. Roma had a better chance in the opening minutes. St.Gallen did not start with the same determination as two weeks ago at Young Boys. Maybe it had something to do with the lack of radiation and calmness of Jordi Quintillà, who was sitting in the stands, yellow-locked. But rather, as Zeidler saw it, the Neuchâtelers were perfectly prepared for the St. Gallena – "and we had tactical problems at first." Raphaël Nuzzolo and Gaëtan Karlen, two of the league's strongest offensive forces, excited the initially disorganized St. John's defense. Gallen.
Results of FCSG players against Xamax
However, the Eastern Swiss have not let go of the concept out of hand – which seems to be one of their great strengths at the moment. It seemed calm as they took over the show dictating more and more, with a lot of work and tactical consistency in the pressing.
But atypically, that was the opening goal in the 28th minute: Defender Yannis Letard met his head after a corner – something more recent than St. John's opponent. Cedric Itten's 2-0 victory, though due to a failed attempt at a goal by Victor Ruiz, was eventually the result of pressure that St.Gallen is now increasingly piling up.
The tireless Görtler, the infallible striker
But even at the beginning of the second half it was a difficult phase for St. Gallen. They got upset in the first few minutes a little less high, they were a little less present. Which quickly led to a goal after a free kick. The East Swiss reacted strongly, put a lot of pressure back into the game – and rewarded themselves with a goal of the evening. Rarely seen before the break, Boris Babic tossed his longtime teammate Ermedin Demirović into the box with a stretched ball and sprinted forward, transforming Demirović's lead from 20 yards out. St.Gallen pushed the ball, the tireless Lukas Görtler, who made a quick one-on-one lead to Demirović's strong singles performance at 4-1.
The result was a little too high, eventually finding Zeidler, and he might be right about the first 20 minutes. Xamax coach Joël Magnin, on the other hand, spoke of the win that was deserved at this level because St.Gallen's intensity just wasn't right.
This intensity has given FC St.Gallen the last 24 goals and 22 points in 9 games – and that brings him close to the top. Three championship games are still missing this year. St.Gallen will travel to Lucerne next Sunday (Zeidler: "Where we finally want to get something."). Then there is the away match in Thun and the finale on December 14, the home game against Zurich. FC Basel and the Young Boys will meet next Sunday. Maybe the opportunity to move St.Gallen even closer to the top? It would be easy.