Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Nice put brakes on Nantes

Publish on 11/05/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


OGC Nice brought FC Nantes' winning run to a halt as the pair played out a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Riviera on Saturday.

 OGC Nice 1-1 FC Nantes 

Neither side had much to play for other than pride, but both had shown a lot of that in recent weeks. That was particularly true of Nantes who had motored away from the lower reaches of the table with a five-game winning streak that they had not put together since their 2000/01 title triumph.

Vahid Halilhodzic's men took a step towards making that six when they moved ahead just before the half-hour mark. Kalifa Coulibaly's ball freed Anthony Limbombe — he was halted by Walter Benitez and Dante in tandem, but the ball ran for Samuel Moutoussamy, who finished with ease (29').

It was the first goal Nice had conceded in the opening 45 minutes of their last ten league games, and they had to wait until early in the second half to make amends.

Woodwork tested

Pierre Lees-Mélou's set-piece delivery from the left was perfect, and Malang Sarr rose at the back post to head his teammate's free-kick into the net despite Nicolas Pallois' efforts to clear on the line (55').

Nice nearly seized the initiative immediately afterwards, but Allan Saint-Maximin's shot hit a post (58') while Coulibaly very nearly replied at the opposite end, but also hit the woodwork when lunging to meet a Limbombe cross (60').

The best chance to win it came in the closing seconds when Charles Traoré brought down Youcef Atal and referee Stéphanie Frappart pointed to the spot, standing by her decision after checking with VAR.

Atal, who had scored a hat-trick in the Week 34 win over En Avant Guingamp, took the spot-kick, but Nantes goalkeeper Maxime Dupé guessed correctly to push out the full-back's effort and earn his side a deserved point (90+5').

THE PLAYER: Kalifa Coulibaly
The rangy forward has come into his own in the second half of the season, and had a hand in his side's goal here and very nearly scored himself.

THE STAT: 1900
This was Nantes' 1900th Ligue 1 Conforama game.