Vitesse 1-0 Nice
December 8, 2017
Le gym go down fighting
Despite a solid performance in the Netherlands, a new-look Nice side went down 1-0 to Vitesse Arnhem on Matchday 6 of the Europa League. Already qualified for the Round of 32, Le Gym conceded the only goal of the game in the 85th minute.
Lucien Favre opted for a 4-3-3 formation at kick-off that exchanged blows with their hosts for long periods of the match. Both sides had opportunities to score, but it was last season's Dutch Cup winners that had the better of the first-half chances and ended up snatching victory.
For a long time, it looked as though an imperial Cardi’ in the Nice goal would have the last laugh. Returning to the starting XI, Le Gym 'keeper produced a first great save from Kashia's header (6’); got down low to deny Bruns from distance (18’); before choosing the way to dive when one-on-one with Castaignos, to keep his team in the match (45’).
But Nice were also dangerous going forward. Vitesse played a very high line and looked vulnerable every time Nice got in behind. Perhaps a few more long balls could have been in order from the visitors, especially with Dante passing out from the back...
After good play from Lusamba, Plea's effort lacked the power to beat Pasveer (7’). Exchanging passes with Lusamba, J.V. Makengo then stung the palms of of the Dutch side's 'keeper from a tight angle (11'). The former Caen midfielder, making his first start for Nice was excellent in the centre of the park. Solid in a challenge, capable of beating his first man and intelligent positioning going forward, he really caught the eye. The same could also be said of Bassem Srarfi. The Tunisian saw less of the ball but always looked to make something happen, like when he released Racine Coly through on goal. The Senegalese full-back was clearly brought down in the area… but the referee Mr Schärer waved the appeals away...
Plea (27’) and Cyprien (28’) also tried their luck from distance. In his first game back after nine months out with injury, Wylan may not have found the back of the net, but he was neat and tidy sitting in front of the defence.
INTENSITY DROPPED AFTER THE BREAK
Yoan Cardinale made to great saves in the 10 minutes that followed half-time, and kept his side on level terms. Moments later, Srarfi and then Plea, went so close to firing Nice in front.
Set up perfectly by Koziello, Plea was again denied by Pasveer (62'), before being replaced by the latest club teenage youth product: Lamine Diaby-Fadiga (16yrs).
As the minutes passed, the intensity dropped. Les Aiglons looked happy to defend their share of the spoils.
Just when it looked as though the match would end in a draw, Vitesse opened the scoring. Rashica's deflected shot was palmed out by Cardinale but Castaignos was on hand to pass the ball home (1-0, 85').
Les Rouge et Noir now turn attentions to their next outing and a trip to Nantes in Ligue 1.
We will see the Europa League again in 2018!
C.D. à Arnhem
In Arnhem, GelreDome,
Vitesse Arnhem 1-0 OGC Nice (Half-time: 0-0)
Europa League – Matchday 6 - 07/12/2017
Referee: Sandro Schärer
Goal: Castaignos (V) 85'
Bookings: Srarfi (N) 55', Makengo (N) 68'
Vitesse Arnhem: Pasveer, Lelieveld, Miazga, Oude Kotte, Faye, Colkett (Foor 46'), Kashia, Mount, Bruns, Matavz (Rashica 68'), Castaignos.
OGC Nice: Cardinale - Burner, Dante (cap), Sarr, Coly - Koziello, Cyprien, Makengo - Srarfi (Walter 79'), Plea (Diaby-Fadiga 65'), Lusamba (Perraud 88').