Nice consolidated its second place in the Ligue 1 standings by beating Nantes (2-1) with difficulty thanks to an individual feat by Khéphren Thuram, at the Allianz Riviera on Friday evening at the opening of the 21e day.
Since Strasbourg humiliated it (3-0) on its lawn on December 5, the Gym has chained four consecutive successes in L1. After Rennes, Lens and Brest, the men of Christophe Galtier therefore came to the end of Nantes.
With 39 points, Nice performs a very good accounting operation: Nantes is relegated to ten points, and Marseille will be forced to beat Lille Sunday evening to pick up.
However, this victory was laborious and won after a match controlled over certain periods only. Until the end, the Canaries also pushed to equalize, without success.
We had to wait for a superb ride from Khéphren Thuram, who left his camp to beat Alban Lafont from the left after a relay with Amine Gouiri (2-1, 56e), to see the Red and Black regain the advantage and win.
– Thuram stands out –
Arranged in 5-4-1 with the only Randal Kolo Muani at the forefront, Nantes had, at the start, the objective of waiting as a block and countering. Despite a good start from Nice, it quickly almost worked following poor control from Dante.
Kolo Muani took the opportunity to steal the ball from the Brazilian central defender. But that was without counting on the good return of the returning Jordan Amavi, holder with Nice for the first time since his transfer to Aston Villa in the summer 2015. And especially on the solid exit of Walter Benitez in the feet of Nantes (16e).
With more than 70% possession, the Aiglons did not stop attacking. They were logically rewarded when, for his debut in Ligue 1, Abdoulaye Sylla, 21 years old, countered with his hand and in the box a header from Dante at the far post, on a corner from Justin Kluivert (20e).
Kasper Dolberg took the opportunity to penalize Nantes and score his sixth goal of the season in championship, his second in two matches in 2022 (1-0, 21e).
On the other hand, the Danish international, who turned around, was at fault in the wall of Nice, during the equalization on a free kick from Andrei Girotto just before the break (1-1, 45 e). Above all, it was Benitez’s big hand foul that allowed Nantes to return to the locker room without being behind.
After leading, Nice had stopped playing in the first period. If the start of the second half was different, the offensive animation left something to be desired. Until Thuram, excellent, distinguishes himself (56e) and offers a precious success to his people.
This defeat is a setback for Nantes, who lost for the first time in five games.