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Nantes ease past Dijon to extend winning streak

Publish on 02/05/2019 at 00h00 - S. WILLIS

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Abdoulaye Touré, Kalifa Coulibaly and Valentin Rongier were on target as FC Nantes chalked up their fifth win on the bounce, beating relegation-threatened Dijon FCO 3-0 at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

FC Nantes 3-0 Dijon FCO 

THE MATCH

There were chances aplenty for both sides in the first half. Coulibaly led the line for Nantes and did a good job of holding Wesley Lautoa off to meet Rongier's cross early on before sending an effort narrowly wide (9'). At the other end, Naïm Sliti - who had been dropped for Dijon's 1-0 loss at SM Caen last Sunday - was keen to make up for lost time. The Tunisia midfielder played a neat one-two with Kwon Chang-hoon before slipping in the overlapping Fouad Chafik, but the right-back's cutback was turned clear by Touré (16'). Rongier then shaved the Dijon post with a shot (22') but the relegation-threatened visitors were unbowed and when Sliti played in Julio Tavares, the Cape Verdean was a Maxime Dupé save away from scoring his first goal since August (27'). Nantes should still have taken a lead into the interval, though, but Majeed Waris hit the woodwork (32') before Diego fired high (38'). The hosts' profligacy might have been punished minutes later, but Sliti slipped in taking a free-kick (40') and it was 0-0 at half-time.

Nantes turn the screw

The second half was young when Nantes pulled into a deserved lead, though. Touré skipped past Tavares and Sliti in midfield before letting fly with a rocket of a shot which ended up in the top corner, leaving visiting 'keeper Runar Runarsson with no chance (52'). Dijon tried to respond minutes later when Kwon and Tavares played a one-two on the edge of the Nantes box before the South Korean tried his luck, but Dupé was well positioned to make the save (57'), and they came undone as the half wore on. Referee Benoît Bastien had little choice but to whistle for a penalty when Nayef Aguerd fouled Waris in the box; the Morocco defender was given his marching orders, and Coulibaly stepped up to stroke home the resulting spot-kick for his seventh goal of the season (74'). Rongier then put the game to bed, converting from a Samuel Moutoussamy cutback (80'), and although Chafik crashed an effort off the Nantes post at the death (90+1') it was too little too late.

THE PLAYER: Kalifa Coulibaly

Coulibaly joined Nantes from Gent at the start of the season but he took some time to adapt to the pace of the French game. He has managed that and then some in recent months, though. The Mali striker's penalty was his seventh goal of the season, six of which have come in 2019 alone, and he might have had more, having tallied a game-high five shots on goal.

THE STAT: 5

Nantes have won each of their last five games, which have included the scalps of Paris Saint-Germain, Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique de Marseille. European football is beyond their reach this season, but if they can carry this momentum into next, it wouldn't be safe to write off Vahid Halilhodzic's side.