Nice 3-0 Guingamp
April 28, 2019
The Youcef Atal show
A hat-trick for Youcef Atal allowed Le Gym to secure a victory over Guingamp in Week 34 of L1 (3-0).
A win is always obtained as a team. On Sunday, however, one man in particular lit up the Allianz Riviera with his talent, his class and his audacity. Since his arrival in Nice, Youcef Atal has rarely gone missing in a game. But this time, the young Algerian who came through the ranks at Paradou, really left his mark on the game. Thanks to his hat-trick (the first at the Allianz since Hatem Ben Arfa), Nice made things easier for themselves. And they did so quickly, given that the number 20 found the back of the net with a left foot volley (9’) after an inch perfect ball from Tameze.
After a strong start to the match, the Red and Blacks controlled the encounter, with desire and determination. Over the 90 minutes, it was only at the start of the second half that Le Gym were put under pressure, before they ensured that the suspense was snuffed out.
A header from Hérelle that slipped wide (7’) and a monstrous strike from Tameze that was boxed away by Caillard (9’) both came before the opener and proved very early on that Les Aiglons were at the races this afternoon.
Their control of the game confirmed it. In the first half, apart from Ngbakoto’s shot that was caught by Benitez and an off-target header from Djilobodji, the Niçois weren’t troubled. Better still, they almost put the game to bed before the break, through an incredible free-kick from Malang Sarr, which smashed against Guingamp’s post, with Caillard well and truly beaten.
The first 10 minutes after the break played host to a number of chances. One after the other: a strike from Merghem (51') almost caught Benitez by surprise, but the keeper, with assistance from Dante, was able to get the ball under control; a shot from Lees-Melou was stopped by Caillard (53'); and another Ngbakoto header - after he had found himself unmarked in the box - missed the target (56').
After this end-to-end start, Le Gym found a second and then killed the game off just five minutes later.
Coach Vieira’s choices
At kick-off, Patrick Vieira once again opted for a 4-3-3.
The defence didn’t change, with Benitez between the sticks and Burner, Hérelle, Dante and Sarr in front.
Through the middle, Tameze started in front of the defence, flanked by Lees-Melou and Makengo.
Up-front, Saint-Maximin started on the right, Atal on the left (the two wide men switched after 30 minutes) and Sacko through the middle.
In the second half, Danilo replaced Makengo, Ganago came on for Atal and Jaziri for Saint-Maximin.
10’ A beauty from Atal. The Algerian international made the most of an excellent pass from Tameze to delight the Allianz, with a first-timed left footed volley. The perfect technique - clinical. The ball, helped by the post, ended its flight in the back of the net.
68' Atal, Part II. With the encounter still in the balance, the Algerian picked the ball up in the centre circle and took care of the rest, on his own. The rest? One opponent beaten with a touch of luck, one straight down the middle, other players out wide and a tackled finish to convert.
73' Atal, Part III. At the start of the move, Saint-Maximin played Sacko in deep. Ihsan lifted his head, crossed firmly to the back post, and Youcef secured his hat-trick.
Nice, Allianz Riviera,
OGC Nice 3-0 EA Guingamp (1-0 at half-time)
Week 34 of L1 - 28/04/2019
Referee: Hakim Ben El Hadj
Goals: Atal (10', 68', 73'), for Nice
Yellow cards: Dante (16'), Tameze (37'), Burner (73') for Nice; Merghem (19’) for Guingamp.
OGC Nice: Benitez - Burner, Hérelle, Dante (cap), Sarr - Lees-Melou, Tameze, Makengo (Danilo 65') - Saint-Maximin (Jaziri 83'), Sacko, Atal (Ganago 77').
EA Guingamp: Caillard - Ikoko, Sorbon (cap), Djilobodji, Rebocho - Merghem (Blas 77'), Phiri (Didot 70'), Ndong, Thuram - Ngbakoto, Coco (Mendy 63').