Calvin Stengs, Nice, Anthony Caci, Strasbourg
Match Reports

Nice slip up against Strasbourg

Publish on 05/12/2021 at 18:54 - I. HOLYMAN

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In-form Strasbourg compounded Nice's poor recent run with a 3-0 win at the Allianz Riviera on Sunday as Julien Stephan's men pushed themselves up into contention for a top-three finish. Monaco and Angers also remain in touch after securing wins on Sunday.

THE MATCH

Nice came into the game with the best defensive record in the division having conceded just 12 goals, but had won just one of their last four Ligue 1 Uber Eats games; Strasbourg boasted the third-most prolific attack behind only Paris Saint-Germain and Rennes, and it was their quality in the final third that told.

 

Ibrahima Sissoko brought a save from Walter Benitez as early as the ninth minute, that was one of the visitors' five goal attempts they mustered inside the opening 15 minutes. Habib Diallo then dominated Jean-Clair Todibo in the air to head over (20') as Strasbourg looked anything but a team that had failed to win any of their last four league games. 

 

A minute later, they were in front. At the sharp end of a flowing movement of one-touch football, Sissoko provided the final ball for Ludovic Ajorque — he held off Melvin Bard to prod home his ninth league goal of the season (21').

 

 

VAR ruled out a penalty award for the visitors when Todibo and Diallo collided in the box (38'); Andy Delort might have equalised just before the break when the hosts broke after a Strasbourg corner, but his shot wasn't powerful enough to beat Matz Sels (44').

 

Kasper Dolberg did muster the power, but couldn't beat Sels at the Belgium international's near post just after the hour mark (62'), and the Strasbourg 'keeper then produced a brilliant save to deny Youcef Atal (80') before the visitors took the game away from Christophe Galtier's men.

 

With the hosts pushing on, Strasbourg countered: Jean-Ricner Bellegarde miscued his shot from the edge of the box, but Diallo was in the right place to flick the ball into the net (81'). The Senegal international forward then found Adrien Thomasson charging into the box, and he dinked a delicious shot over Benitez (84') to condemn Nice to a third straight home loss.

 

THE PLAYER: Adrien Thomasson

The former Nantes midfielder is probably one of the French top-flight's most underrated talents. Not afraid of rolling his sleeves up, he does excellent work on both sides of the ball: he now has six league goals too.

 

THE STAT: 9

Strasbourg — along with PSG — are the only side in Ligue 1 Uber Eats to have won every game in which they have opened the scoring. That's nine wins out of nine now after going 1-0 up.

 

Elsewhere, Monaco are level with sixth-placed Strasbourg on 26 points after a crushing 4-0 win at home to Metz. Sofiane Diop's early goal (2') set Niko Kovac's men en route to a sixth win in their last 12 games before Kevin Volland netted a penalty just before the break (44'). Gelson Martins (57') and Wissam ben Yedder (87') completed the rout that leaves Metz second-from-bottom. Sofiane Boufal's second-half penalty (49') and an Angelo Fulgini goal (75') gave Angers a 2-1 win at Reims to leave Gérald Baticle's men two points off fourth. 

 

Montpellier are ninth, but are just two points off fourth thanks to Elye Wahi's first-half goal (27') against struggling Clermont, who have now just won one of their last 15 league matches. Wylan Cyprien's late goal (83') secured Nantes a welcome win at Lorient to give Antoine Kombouaré's men breathing space in mid-table.

 

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