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The work continues

Slavia 4-1 Nice

July 17, 2017

The work continues

Solid and diligent in the first half, shaken and then overrun in the second, the Gym fell to its first defeat of pre-season in Prague, against Slavia (1-4).

An Eden Arena that is made for Europe. A bulldozer of an opposition who refused to surrender its arms. A friendly that was only a ‘friendly’ in name, which had real impact for the whole 90 minutes. 10 days before the Q3 of the Champions League, Slavia, Champions of the Czech Republic, provided a good test for the Gym. The test, however, would prove to be complicated. With a young starting eleven at kick-off, deprived of several experienced first-teamers on the bench and with Cardi, Dante and Balotelli not in the squad, the Aiglons suffered their first defeat of the summer. The side had very few answers, but they didn’t show an infinite number of shortcomings either.

They did, however, start the brighter of the two teams. The ball on the floor, the ideas in place, they attacked the first 10 minutes in the right way. At ease in a 4-3-3 which saw the trio of Seri-Tameze-Walter offer a degree of calmness to the side. The opener from Olivier Boscagli (8'), further forward than the rest of his teammates and clinical from a free-kick from Mika Seri – captain at kick-off – which saw a the Gym rewarded for its successful start to the game. 

And whilst Slavia recoiled and then, came out of their shells to get back to their old self, the Azuréens, wearing black and blue for the first time in pre-season, were able to resist with discipline. Le Marchand, starting on the right wing, tackled on half-way and then cleaned up smartly to save his side. Shortly after, the home side quickly took a free-kick from 20 metres out, but Walter Benitez was there to deal with it with authority (41'). At half-time, everything seemed to be going well for the team that finished 3rd in L1 last season.

An unmanageable Van Buren

The return from the dressing rooms, however, was fatal. Solid, lively and dangerous, Milan Skoda equalised from a rather ‘generous’ penalty, resulting from an undeliberate handball from Lusamba (47'). But Nice’s lead was cancelled out even before the “Van Buren show” could get underway. The Dutch winger ate up the wing like an ogre and pulled the ball back beautifully for his captain, who completed his brace (49'). Immediately after, he crossed his shot to find the back of the net (69'), before making the most of a long ball into the box which he controlled excellently and tucked away to end the proceedings (78'). 2 goals and a golden pass for the winger.

Groggy, the Gym was unable to react, despite a hint of a rebellion which lasted 10 minutes. Lucien Favre continued to make numerous changes, as a reminder that, despite the frustration, the group still finds itself in pre-season.

The Gym will take to the pitches once again on Monday to continue its preparations. In its mind, the Gym will have the desire to take lessons from this friendly defeat, so that it can be ready for the tests that lie ahead of it.


Prague, Eden Aréna
Slavia Prague 4-1 OGC Nice (0-1 at half-time)

Friendly - 16/07/2017

12 138 spectators.

Goals : Boscagli (8') for Nice ; Skoda (47', 49') and Van Buren (69', 78') for Slavia

Slavia Prague (starting eleven): Lastuvka - Frydrych, Jugas, Deli, Boril - Husbauer, Soucek, Rotan - Danny, Skoda, Zmrhal.

OGC Nice: Benitez - Burner (Souquet, 73'), Le Marchand (Sarr 46'), Boscagli, Dalbert - Seri (cap.) (Makengo 60'), Tameze (Koziello 73'), Walter (Perraud 73') - Lusamba (Lees-Melou 73'), Plea (Srarfi 73'), Eysseric (Marcel 60').