Sala hits three as Nantes crush Toulouse
FC Nantes ended a five-game winless run as Emiliano Sala grabbed a hat-trick in an emphatic 4-0 defeat of Toulouse FC on Saturday.
FC Nantes 4-0 Toulouse FC
Nantes' tally of just six points from their opening nine matches was their worst total in over a decade, but new boss Vahid Halilhodzic has — on the evidence of this showing — found a blend that could significantly improve that.
Visiting goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet had already been forced into a good save from Gabriel Boschilia (14') before Sala got his show going, finishing smartly after he had been found by Boschilia (25') for just his second goal in five league matches.
The hard-working Argentine forward came within centimetres of connecting with Anthony Limbombe's cross — had he done so, he surely would have added a second — (28') before Boschilia did double the hosts' lead (38').
Abdoulaye Touré stung Reynet's palms (48') before Corentin Jean had Toulouse's first effort on target just before the hour mark only to find Ciprian Tatarusanu equal to the challenge (58').
Touré and Boschilia were involved as Sala made it three — the pair teed up Limbombe, whose shot was parried into the path of Sala by Reynet, and the former Girondins de Bordeaux and SM Caen forward made no mistake (71').
Six minutes later, his hat-trick was complete — Enock Kwateng stole in when Christopher Jullien failed to clear, and his cross was met by the head of Sala, who powered his effort beyond Reynet (77').
THE PLAYER: Emiliano Sala
The 27-year-old got back to goalscoring in spectacular style. His career was kickstarted by the appointment of Sergio Conceiçao the season before last, and perhaps Halilhodzic's arrival will have a similar effect.
THE STAT: 12
Sala is the first Nantes player to score three goals in a Ligue 1 game since Mamadou Diallo did so against Sochaux in February 2006.