There was no separating FC Nantes and FC Jetz at the Stade de la Beaujoire on Sunday, with Randal Kolo and Aaron Leya Iseka exchanging goals in a 1-1 draw.
FC Nantes 1-1 FC Metz
Kolo was busy from the off, flashing an effort just over Alexandre Oukidja's crossbar (10') before forcing the goalkeeper into a fine save with a first-time left-footed shot which had looked bound for the bottom corner (12'). Nantes took what was a deserved lead midway through the half when Sébastien Corchia - one of three players who returned to les Canaris' back four following a period of isolation - sent the ball in for Kolo who made it third time lucky with an unstoppable finish high into the Metz net (25'). Nantes captain Ludovic Blas could have doubled the hosts' lead soon after, but his shot didn't do the ball juggling that had preceded it justice (34') and that profligacy was punished on the stroke of half-time when Aaron Leya Iseka stroked home from the penalty spot after Fabio's handball in the box Nantes (45').
The hosts began the second half as they had spent much of the first - in the ascendancy - and Corchia was unlucky to see Matthieu Udol deflect his shot out for a corner (50'). There was nearly an hour gone before Metz enjoyed their first shot on target from open play, Lamine Gueye forcing Alban Lafont into a good save before Corchia hooked the loose ball away (59'). Oukidja then stopped Kader Bamba's attempt at the other end (61') in a lively spell of action. Lafont had to be on his toes to stop Metz's second-half substitute Vagner from putting the visitors in front with a close-range effort (70'). Nantes had the chance to claim all three points when Mehdi Abeid broke clear, but his effort stayed out (77') and it ended 1-1.
THE PLAYER: Aaron Leya Iseka
The younger brother of Crystal Palace and Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi, there has been significant hype surrounding Leya Iseka since Olympique de Marseille first signed him from Anderlecht as an 18-year-old in 2016. Underwhelming stints at Zuklte Waregem and Toulouse have since followed, but if Frédéric Antonetti can get him fit and firing he could yet have a serious goal-threat on his hands. Now 23, Leya Iseka converted his spot-kick confidently, and his new employers will hope for many more now he's off the mark.
THE STAT: 7
Metz are now undefeated for seven games in Ligue 1 Uber Eats, with only champions and league leaders Paris Saint-Germain enjoying a longer run. The last time les Grenats tasted defeat in the French top flight was on the opening day of this season, when Paris edged them 1-0 at the Parc des Princes.