Nîmes Olympique climbed into the top half of the table with a 2-0 win over Dijon FCO on Friday, Téji Savanier and Antonin Bobichon getting the goals.
Nîmes Olympique 2-0 Dijon FCO
Nîmes started well at their Stade des Costières, and when Sofiane Alakouch crossed for Bobichon the attacker looked odds on to open the scoring, only to fluff his lines from close range (10’). Sada Thioub was the next to try his luck, attempting to catch Bobby Allain out with an early shot from the edge of the Dijon box, but the visiting ‘keeper scrambled well to keep it out (26’). Allain has been in fine form since Antoine Kombouaré took charge, installing him as his No.1 ahead of Runar Alex Runarsson, but he won’t want to see the opener again, with Savanier doing what Thioub couldn’t, lobbing the shot-stopper from distance for a stunning third goal of the campaign (28’). Florent Balmont flashed a speculative effort over the bar at the other end (31’), but most of the first-half traffic was flowing in the other direction, with Denis Bouanga unlucky not to see a teammate turn his cross home soon after (37’). Mehdi Abeid could have made it 1-1 towards the end of the half, but he blazed high of the goal (39’) and Nîmes carried a deserved one-goal lead into the interval.
Crocodiles find their bite
Baptiste Guillaume had a gilt-edged chance to double his side’s advantage early in the second after reacting quickest to Bouanga’s parried shot, but he fired off target with the goal at his mercy (52’). Naïm Sliti then carved out a chance for Julio Tavares, but Allain’s opposite number Paul Bernardoni pulled off the save of the game to keep the Cape Verdean striker’s header out (50’). Nîmes largely controlled the game, though, with Jordin Ferri’s class was evident throughout, and he slipped the ball to Alakouch on the edge of the box just inside the hour, but the full-back’s subsequent shot deflected over (56’). Nîmes coach Bernard Blaquart used his subs well, introducing forwards Rachid Alioui (57’) and Renaud Ripart (72’) to keep Dijon on the back foot with fresh legs in attack for the final phase, although it was a forward who had been on the pitch all along - Bobichon - who put the game to bed, thumping home the second goal from the edge of the area (83’) to wrap up a 2-0 win for the hosts.
THE PLAYER: Jordan Ferri
Savanier and Bobichon may have got the goal but this was a superlative performance from midfield string-puller Ferri. The Olympique Lyonnais-owned man, once seen as a dead cert for full international honours, has drifted in recent seasons, but his loan to Les Crocodiles could be just the tonic if Friday’s performance is anything to go by. He started almost every Nîmes chance, including the opening goal, and even broke up play 16 times when Dijon attempted to attack on the counter.
THE STAT: 6
This was the first time Nîmes had beaten Dijon on home turf in six attempts. The last time they came out on top against Le Rouges at their Stade des Costières was all the way back in April 2009, when Jean-Jacques Mandrichi scored a brace in a 2-1 win in Domino’s Ligue 2.