EA Guingamp held local rivals FC Nantes to a 0-0 draw on Sunday, with visiting striker Kalifa Coulibaly having a late goal ruled out for offside (74').
EA Guingamp 0-0 FC Nantes
Both sides bounced into this Derby Breton on the back of wins, something of a rarity in the case of bottom club Guingamp, but that didn't stop the hosts from conjuring up the first chance of the game when Félix Eboa Eboa's long ball forward was headed narrowly wide by opposition centre-back Diego Carlos, much to the relief of Nantes 'Keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu (8'). Nantes fans chanted the name of Emiliano Sala in the ninth minute, in honour of their former No.9 who perished in a plane crash in January (9'), whilst on the pitch the team looked content to sit back and hit Guingamp on the counter. The philosophy nearly backfired with half-time approaching when Pedro Rebocho broke down the left. The Portuguese full-back's cross eventually found its way to Nicolas Benezet at the back post, but the midfielder's acrobatic attempt sailed narrowly over the crossbar (42') and the sides went in for the break with the scores at 0-0.
Coulibaly caught out
Ludovic Blas was the next to threaten, thumping a shot towards Nantes' goal from outside the area which was powerful enough to see Tatarusanu save in instalments (49'). Valentin Rongier poked and probed at the other end with Nantes largely dominant, though. Les Canaris looked to have found a winner when Coulibaly stroked home from Charles Traoré's cut-back, but the big Mali target man was rightly adjudged to have been standing in and offside position (74'). Rene Krhin had the visiting fans on their feet late on when he connected on the half-volley, but what might have been his first Nantes goal since January flew just wide (88'). Nantes had a late penalty claim waved away (90+4') and had to settle for a share of the points that leaves them in 14th. Guingamp, meanwhile, are just one win from lifting themselves up from 20th, should other results go their way next weekend.
THE PLAYER: Valentin Rongier
Nantes were ultimately frustrated but that they were the more dangerous side for long periods had much to do with Rongier. The captain has had to adapt to playing wide of a front three in recent weeks, having spent most of this season - and indeed career - in central midfield, and he was unlucky not to add to his haul of two goals and three assists this season at the Stade de Roudourou.
THE STAT: 3
Guingamp are now undefeated in their last three games, with last Saturday's 1-0 win over Angers SCO preceded by a richly deserved draw at Girondins de Bordeaux the previous week. They were underdogs against their Breton rivals here, but if Jocelyn Gourvennec's men can win against Stade de Reims next time, they can pull out of the drop zone for the first time since Week 2, provided Dijon FCO and SM Caen slip up.