Nice 2-0 Lille
November 25, 2018
The Gym on a run!
A good performance, two goals scored, none conceded: the Gym was victorious over Lyon on Sunday during Week 14 of Ligue 1 (2-0), extending its good run and keeping its elegance.
On the edge: this is how the Gym played during the first 45 minutes. On the edge: the only way to find a route past the opposition, by accepting the risk and putting everything in place in order to make it as tough as possible for Lille, and placing bodies on the line when needed.
Being on the edge didn't mean that Nice wasn't ready. Quite the opposite, its defensive work as a team was exemplary. In a 3-5-2, Patrick Vieira put everything in place to allow his players to always have a free man at the back 'as security' against the away team's trio of Bamba – Ikoné – Pépé. When they played deep, the Aiglons never shook. Ran as necessary and put the effort in when needed. In the first 45 minutes, they were, however, put in danger on several occasions... after making errors in the build up to their attacks. The spaces were opening.
In the first half an hour, Lille created huge chances, each originating with the home side giving the ball away. But there was always a Nice leg (Sarr in the fifth minute, Tameze to deny Pépé in the 18’, and Hérelle in the 23’) to keep the opposition from scoring...
You can't , however, forget that although the game boasted errors, there were also moments of brilliance. And the Gym tried to play, bringing the ball down and passing (51% of possession at the break, 54% over the 90 minutes), and pushing forward when there was the opportunity.
In the 25th minute, a training ground move led to a fantastic opener. And this time, it was Lille, who had pushed forward and fell on its sword. After a Lille attack, the Azuréens recovered the ball deep in their own half, Cyprien played into Lees-Melou, who found Mario in deep. The Italian, after an excellent piece of control, played a beautiful ball into the box for Cyprien, who after running the length of the pitch, remained lucid in his final ball. First time, the inspired midfielder, buried his effort and gave his side the lead (1-0).
In the minutes that followed, Saint-Maximin did well and struck towards goal from 30 metres out, but Maignan was able to punch away (27’); Balotelli just missed out after an almost-perfect cross from Jallet (36’); and Sarr snuffed out another attack from the Dogues before the break.
The Aiglons headed into the dressing room with a one goal lead. Calm but aware of the work that was left to be done. They returned to the pitch in the same way, and focussed even more on keeping the ball. LOSC began to split into two, with the attack becoming less effective, and a less and less intense pressing. On the whole, there was less action.
The result, the Gym who were set up deep and well in-place, focussed on the certainty of its iron curtain. This allowed them to push forward with this in mind. Full of confidence, the Aiglons were able to kill off the match, like a predator. Saint-Maximin picked up the ball after a mix-up from a corner and struck with his left: deflected by Dabila, the ball ended up in the back of the net.
The game had been won. In style.
The Gym continues its good run (5 consecutive wins in all competitions). And awaits with desire.
Nice, Allianz Riviera,
OGC Nice 2-0 Lille OSC (1-0 at half-time)
Week 14 of L1 - 25/11/2018
Referee: Frank Schneider
Goals: Cyprien (25'), Saint-Maximin (79') for Nice
Yellow cards: Koné (48'), Xeka (63'), Maia (78'), Celik (90') for Lille
OGC Nice: Benitez - Hérelle, Dante (cap), Sarr - Atal, Lees-Melou (Walter 81'), Tameze, Cyprien, Jallet - Balotelli (Makengo 72'), Saint-Maximin (Ganago 90').
Lille OSC: Maignan - Celik, J. Fonte (cap), Dabila, Koné - Maia, Xeka - Bamba (Araujo 76'), Ikoné