FC Nantes' Jean-Charles Castelletto celebrates his goal
Match Reports

Castelletto stunner powers Nantes to Derby win

Castelletto stunner powers Nantes to Derby win

Match Reports
Publish on 02/24 at 20:30 - E. DEVIN


FC Nantes got a vital win in a Breton derby thanks to a stunning volley from defender Jean-Charles Castelletto

Breton derbies are always a special affair, as football fans in Brittany are some of France's passionate, well-known for packing stadiums and putting together impressive tifos whenever they meet a local rival. Such was the scene on Saturday afternoon as FC Lorient welcome FC Nantes to the Stade Moustoir.

Les Merlus entered the match as one of the league's form teams, thanks to January signing Mohamed Bamba. The Ivorian had scored five in four matches, powering his side out of the drop zone with three wins and a draw in those matches. Since being eliminated from the Coupe de France by second-tier Stade Laval, though, Les Canaris had also turned a corner, narrowly losing to the in-form duo of Lens and Paris Saint-Germain and getting a crucial win over fellow strugglers Toulouse FC.

Moreover, Les Canaris would be able to call on Moses Simon from the off for the first time in 2024, the Nigerian having returned from the Africa Cup of Nations. Indeed, it was his strong play on the flank that allowed him to connect with a fellow AFCON participant, defender, Jean-Charles Castelletto, who volleyed home superbly for the match's only goal just after the break.

The goal was just reward for the visitors, as Lorient had had much of the ball, but Nantes had proved the more threatening, especially on the counter. Simon had done well to test home goalkeeper Yvan Mvogo in the match's early going and was dangerous throughout, unlike the hosts, who forced Alban Lafont into just a single save.

With the win and a loss by Strasbourg, Nantes have moved to eleventh, five places and three points ahead of the relegation playoff place, currently occupied by Lorient. While neither of the teams in the bottom two can catch Régis Le Bris' side, they will be worried about losing further ground as the three teams ahead of them are only in action on Sunday.

Next for Nantes is a home match against struggling Metz, something Jocelyn Gourvennec's side will surely have earmarked as being vital to their survival, while Lorient will run a gauntlet that includes another derby next weekend, away to in-form Rennes, as well as a match against in-form Lyon before the winter break, a set of fixtures that will surely make their supporters nervy.

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