In-form duo Kasper Dolberg and Amine Gouiri found the net in the final quarter-hour as Nice defeated luckless Nantes 2-0 on Sunday — Christophe Galtier's side are yet to concede a goal in the 2021/22 Ligue 1 Uber Eats season.
Nice came into the game unbeaten, but had received the bad news they had been deducted a point — and had another point deduction suspended — following their interrupted Round 3 encounter with Marseille.
With the visitors slow out of the blocks, Osman Bukari might have done better than miscue a shot when well placed (10') as Antoine Kombouaré's men looked to improve on a run of just one win and four points from a mixed start to this season.
Nice warmed up though. Mario Lemina struck the crossbar with a header from a Gouiri free-kick (32'), but Nantes finished the first half the stronger. Nigeria international Moses Simon has been a positive for the eight-time French champions this term, and he fired a half-volley just wide (43') before Randal Kolo Muani struck the crossbar with a shot from a Ludovic Blas cross (45').
Blocks at both end of the pitch prevented Bukari (59') and Gouiri (63') from opening the scoring before Nice goalkeeper Walter Benitez was called into serious action for the first time. The Argentine got down smartly to parry a fierce Bukari drive after he had been teed up by the inventive Blas (70').
Benitez was alert to the danger when Sébastien Corchia tried his luck from distance (73') and then needed Lemina to help him out as Simon's shot beat the Nice goalkeeper but not their Gabon international midfielder, stationed handily on the goalline (74').
Nantes must have been hopeful of the breakthrough coming soon. It did, but it was a ruthless Nice who provided it. Calvin Stengs, making his first Ligue 1 Uber Eats start, brought the ball forward before finding the overlapping run of Melvin Bard — his cross was met by Dolberg, who again used his chest to clinical effect from close range (75').
A third goal in three league games from the Denmark international took him level with Gouiri, who quickly moved back in front of his teammate. He had help from Andy Delort, the new signing who had stepped off the bench to replace Stengs just two minutes earlier.
Dolberg was involved too, holding the ball up before playing it to Gouiri. A one-two between the former Lyon man and Delort created a shooting opportunity, and Gouiri dispatched a low shot beyond Alban Lafont to keep Galtier's men cruising (80').
THE PLAYER: Kasper Dolberg
The Denmark international's improvised finish and his all-round play, which also contributed to the second goal. His understanding with Gouiri, in particular, bodes so well for Nice this season.
THE STAT: 3
Nice have won three successive away games in Ligue 1 for the first time since September-October 2015.