Cyprien brace sparks Nice win over Metz
Two Wylan Cyprien goals set OGC Nice on course for a resounding 4-1 home win over FC Metz on Saturday.
OGC Nice 4-1 FC Metz
Beaten 4-1 at Saint-Etienne in midweek, Nice were only five points above Metz at kick-off, but Cyprien helped ensure there was a gulf in class between the pair.
Nice had only won twice in their last ten games, but they were quickly en route to a third in 11: Adam Ounas, who missed the Saint-Etienne defeat with injury, tried to make headway inside the box, and though he was stopped, the ball broke to Cyprien to fire home (10').
Walter Benitez preserved the advantage with a good save from Habib Diallo (19'), and Nice then lost Youcef Atal to injury, but they ploughed on and were rewarded just before the break. VAR was required to confirm Stoppila Sunzu's challenge on Ounas was a foul, and Cyprien chipped home the penalty (41'), his fourth success from the spot this season.
Metz lost top scorer and captain Diallo to injury (50'), and their hopes of a surprise comeback were snuffed out when Ignatius Ganogo, who had replaced Atal, beat Paul Delecroix with a sweet connection to Pierre Lees-Melou's cross (59').
Ibrahima Niané pulled one back (74'), but Nice almost immediately responded: Lees Melou sending a curling shot low past Delecroix (76') — in for the injured Alexandre Oukidja — as Nice moved to within five points of the top three.
THE PLAYER: Wylan Cyprien
The midfielder stands in for Dante as captain when the Brazilian is missing, which says more than enough about his standing in the squad. Add to that his goals here, and he is returning to something like the stunning form he showed before his ACL injury in March 2017.
THE STAT: 1
Nice have lost just once to Metz in ten games, winning seven times.