Walter wins it for Nice
By D. Crossan
Rémi Walter scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot as OGC Nice beat Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 at Allianz Riviera.
OGC Nice 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais
It was a similar scenario to OL's 1-0 loss to Nice back in August when OL had dominated possession and the goal attempts count only to see Les Aiglons claim the spoils. Patrick Vieira's men were brave as they sealed a result that put them onto 37 points, one of four clubs on that total covering fourth to seventh positions in the table.
Nice, cuffed 4-0 at LOSC last time out, made a rapid start and had the game's first shot after only 17 seconds as Ignatius Ganago was denied by Anthony Lopes. The 19-year-old Cameroonian (6') also had the second attempt of note, though he failed to catch the strike cleanly.
Memphis Depay (8') tested Walter Benitez with a free-kick and Nabil Fekir (18') had the ball in the back of the net only for the goal to be ruled out for a Moussa Dembélé offside. Bruno Genesio named the same 11 that had beaten Paris Saint-Germain the previous Sunday and OL almost went in front when Benitez saved well (26') from Bertrand Traoré's left-footed effort. A minute later (27') Christophe Herelle made a heroic block from a Depay shot.
Dembélé has been in great scoring form with five in six games coming into this fixture and the striker nearly netted with a header (58') that took a deflection and was cleared off the line by Patrick Burner. Nice were awarded a spot-kick after a VAR review as Mickaël Lesage ultimately decided Tanguy Ndombele had fouled Ganago at the edge of the box. Walter (69') had scored a 99th-minute penalty to salvage a point at Reims last month and the midfielder made no mistake, sending Lopes the wrong way with an emphatic strike.
Nice defended their advantage manfully with intermittent scares, the biggest of them coming when Dante gave the ball away to Depay (80'). The Dutchman's OL record goal drought now stands at 11 Ligue 1 Conforama games as Benitez got down to save to his right.
THE PLAYER: Walter Benitez
The Argentinian goalkeeper's first appearance of the season was a man-of-the-match display at Lyon and Genesio must be sick of the sight of the well-built 25-year-old who once more thwarted OL time and again. The pick of his saves was the one from Depay late on as he anticipated where the attacker was going to shoot.
THE STAT: 7
Nice are unbeaten in their last seven Ligue 1 Conforama home games (5W, 2D).