Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Nantes win at Angers

Publish on 12/05/2018 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


FC Nantes spoiled Angers SCO's party for their final home game of the season with a 2-0 win at the Stade Raymond Kopa on Saturday.

 Angers SCO 0-2 FC Nantes 

Nantes still retained slim hopes of qualifying for next season's UEFA Europa League at kick-off, but after a disastrous run of seven winless matches — and back-to-back defeats before coming to Angers — Claudio Ranieri's men knew they were mainly playing for pride.

They showed it as the dominated before the break, though they were only rarely able to trouble Ludovic Butelle in the home goal. He would have had to pick the ball out of his net as early as the ninth minute, however, had Emiliano Sala's header not come back off a post (9').

Instead, Nantes had to wait until five minutes after the interval to break the deadlock. Lucas Lima's ability to strike a dead ball is well documented, and the Brazilian gave further evidence of his threat at set-pieces by smashing a free-kick beyond Butelle to put Nantes in front (50').

The visitors quickly doubled their advantage. Ranieri has made a speciality of bringing in new faces, and former Paris Saint-Germain forward Kalifa Coulibaly is one of them.

The 26-year-old, who did not make a first-team league appearance for the 2017/18 Ligue 1 Conforama champions, claimed his first league goal when the Angers defence dallied, and he shot past Butelle from just inside the penalty area (62') to seal the win.

THE PLAYER: Kolbeinn Sigthorsson
The Iceland international striker's contribution was limited to nine minutes, but it was the first time he had been seen in a Ligue 1 Conforama game since 2016. If the 28-year-old former Ajax forward continues along the road to full recovery, 2018/19 could bode well for Nantes.

Both of Lucas Lima's league goals this season have come from direct free-kicks.