Sala penalty seals points
Emiliano Sala's first-half penalty was enough for Nantes to win 1-0 at home to Angers as Claudio Ranieri's men survived having Yacine Bammou sent off in the second half.
FC Nantes 1-0 Angers SCO
After only one win in their previous five, this was a needed success for Les Canaris. Angers are still four points behind 17th-placed Toulouse as they failed to take advantage of 25 minutes at the end of the game with an extra man.
Six minutes in, Léo Dubois had the first chance as he unleashed a left-footed shot and Alexandre Letellier did well to save. Five minutes later Angers had an opportunity as Pierrick Capelle played in Karl Toko Ekambi behind the defence. The visitors' top scorer attempted an audacious lob that finished just over the bar.
Midway through the half newcomer Santy Ngom returned the ball to Dubois and the Nantes skipper won a penalty as Romain Thomas challenged him from behind. Sala stepped up and beat Letellier with a powerful shot despite the goalkeeper going the right way.
Three minutes into the second half Bammou had an attempt cleared off the line by Flavien Tait, just before Claudio Ranieri was sent to the stands for touching the fourth official, but on 65 minutes the Moroccan international was sent off for a second yellow card, issued for repeated fouling. Angers have won only one of their last 16 Ligue 1 Conforama games and didn't manage a shot on target against a Nantes side that scored their sixth clean sheet of the season.
THE PLAYER: Emiliano Sala
The attacker has been involved in six of Nantes' last eight Ligue 1 Conforama goals. He has scored four goals and added two assists in that impressive run that has helped Nantes consolidate a position near the top of the table.
THE STAT: 7
Angers have failed to score in seven of 10 Ligue 1 Conforama matches against Nantes.