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Pre-season ends well

M’gladbach 1-2 Nice

July 21, 2017

Pre-season ends well

The Gym capped off its series of friendly matches with a good victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach (2-1). The Aiglons leave Bavaria in good spirits and with the desire to continue working in order to be ready to face Ajax, in the Q3 of the Champions League, with the 1st leg taking place on Wednesday.

A trip to Germany to get closer to their true level. Despite the rural stadium, the handrail and the smell of the countryside, Nice found what it was looking for in the match that took place next to the Austrian border. Set-up in a flat 4-4-2 at kick-off, the starting eleven which included Cardi making his return between the sticks,  Dante back with the armband and Balotelli up-front, got extremely involved in the game. Faced with a strong German side, who finished 9th in the Bundesliga last season but currently “on a roll”, Max Le Marchand and his teammates quickly took control of the game. They wouldn’t stumble in the first-half, Yoan Cardinale showing himself to be attentive down at his feet (16') and then once again coming out smartly (40') as the Poulains pushed on. For the most part, the Niçois limited, Dieter Hecking’s men in their half of the pitch and created numerous opportunities but none that paid off. All of that whilst controlling the game, thanks to - amongst others - the central duo of Koziello-Seri, Eysseric’s movement – which allowed the Gym to have a numerical advantage in the middle and then, to open up the wings - and the work of Lees-Melou. 

However, the Gym was still missing that something needed to make the difference. Sippel dealt with Lees-Melou’s attempt (3’). Srarfi had a chance but couldn’t keep it down (10'). Mario and PLM did too. It was only a matter of time.

Inspired coaching

The second-half got underway in the same fashion, until a monstrous strike from Thorgan Hazard, from 30 metres, gave the German side an undeserved lead (60'). Following this opener, the Niçois refused to be divided. Borussia began to play higher up the pitch, but the men from the Côte maintained their control of the game. After a smart piece of skill in the centre-circle,  Dante set-up Srarfi who, on the right, put it onto his left boot to look for the back post (52'). Without success. Then Seri struck a cunning free-kick from out wide, but the ball flew over the top of the bar (56').

In a relatively calm atmosphere, in which their style and inspiration was maintained in minute detail, the Aiglons came back into the game thanks to the men that came off the bench. Alassane Plea, assisted by Pierre Lees-Melou, slid the ball through the legs of the German keeper, before following in on his effort which went in off the post (1-1, 77'). Warmed-up now, Alassane Plea finally played in Vincent Marcel who secured a deserved victory for his side thanks to a superb left-footed effort (87').

The squad now prepares to leave Germany for the motherland. Satisfied with a good final friendly outing and focussed on the huge meeting that is fast approaching.


At Rottach-Egern (Germany), Sportplatz Birkenmoos,
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-2 OGC Nice (half-time 0-0)

Friendly - 20/07/2017

3.000 spectators approx.

Goals : Hazard (60') for M'Gladbach ; Plea (77'), Marcel (87') for Nice

Bookings : Balotelli, Dante for Nice

Borussia M'Gladbach : Sippel – Jantschke, Oxford, Vestergaard, Wendt – Kramer, Cuisance (Rütten, 74') – Traoré, Hazard (Feigenspan, 74') – Simakala (Villalba, 46'), Raffael

OGC Nice : Cardinale - Souquet (Jallet, 79'), Dante (cap), Le Marchand, Sarr (Dalbert 72') - Lees-Melou (Marcel, 79'), Koziello, Seri (Walter 72'), Eysseric - Srarfi, Balotelli (Plea 72').