Claudio Ranieri bade a fond farewell to FC Nantes with a 1-0 win against RC Strasbourg Alsace, with Canaris captain Leo Dubois getting the only goal (32') at the Stade de la Beaujoire.
FC Nantes 1-0 RC Strasbourg Alsace
The Italian coach and the Breton club agreed to part ways at the end of the season last Thursday with the club having dropped from fifth to tenth since the winter break, but the players looked determined to send him off in the best possible way, with Abdoulaye Touré's early header cleared off the line by Bingourou Kamara (10'). Nantes dominated possession and deservedly broke the deadlock when Dubois burst into the Strasbourg box before lashing the opener inside Kamara's near post (32'). Dubois nearly turned taker with half-time approaching, but after a fine cross for Emiliano Sala the Argentine could only fire high and wide (36').
Dilly-ding dilly-dong battle
With both sides playing for little other than pride it was their attacking intent was admirable and Nantes' Brazilian midfielder Andrei Girotto came close to making it 2-0 only to see Pablo Martinez block his shot (71'). Anthony Gonçalves then span a corner into the box for Kader Mangane at the other end but the Senegal defender headed off target (79'). Strasbourg could have grabbed a share of the spoils in the dying minutes but Kamara's opposite number Ciprian Tatarusanu raced off his line to deny Idriss Saadi after the Algeria forward had found space in the box (86') and it ended 1-0 to the hosts.
THE PLAYER: Léo Dubois
Dubois has been outstanding under Ranieri this season, playing either side of Nantes' back four and leading the side out by example as captain. Without a top-flight goal in his career before the Italian arrived in Brittany, Dubois' goal was his third of the current Ligue 1 Conforama campaign. The full-back missed out on Didier Deschamps' provisional France FIFA World Cup squad recently, but at 23 there is plenty of time for him to force his way into international reckoning.
THE STAT: 41
Nantes end the 2017/18 season with just 41 goals conceded in their 38 Ligue 1 Conforama games. Only champions Paris Saint-Germain (29) and Michel Der Zakarian's miserly Montpellier-Hérault SC (33) conceded fewer.