ST ETIENNE 3-0 NICE
May 19, 2019
Le Gym didn’t deserve that
Les Aiglons leave the “Chaudron” having been heavily beaten, despite going toe to toe with their incredibly clinical opposition for the whole 90 minutes on Saturday evening.
Although OGC Nice were only really playing for pride and league position on Saturday evening in the “Chaudron”, ASSE went into the game looking to confirm their fourth place finish and qualification for the Europa League with a victory, and even maintaining hope of finishing on the podium if Lyon stumbled against Caen.
Le Gym put in a very impressive first half performance, with multiple chances and an incisive Ignatius Ganago on the left wing who troubled the defence on several occasions (6', 9', 20', 37'). They hit the woodwork, through Danilo, after a three-in-one chance in which Lees-Melou (a volley beaten away by Ruffier), Danilo (bar) and then Ganago (over the top) couldn’t convert. Les Rouge et Noir also caused problems from set pieces, thanks to the accurate left foot of Olivier Boscagli. But they, like so many others this season, were victims of the clinical nature of Les Verts. With their first chance of the evening, Les Stéphanois opened the scoring thanks to Beric whilst Perrin, who had unsuccessfully tried to get on the end of Salibur’s cross, was in an offside position (26').
This goal against the run of play didn’t have an adverse effect on Patrick Vieira’s side, however, and they continued to look dangerous until the break and could even have got a penalty in a move where Ganago was brought down by Fofana before Perrin inadvertently blocked the ball with his arm! The task could have been more complicated when ASSE, almost doubled their lead with just their second chance of the evening, but Nordin’s strike hit Benitez’s post.
Le Gym’s sterile domination
After the break, Le Gym continued to camp in the home side’s half and kept the ball (66% of possession and twice as many passes as ASSE!). But Les Rouge et Noir lacked a clinical finisher, and were frustrated by an impressive Ruffier in between the sticks for Les Verts.
To complete the frustrating evening, Beric doubled the scoring with a goal that seemed - again - to be offside, but VAR found no reason to intervene (65'). At the end of the match, Le Gym were less effective, and although Danilo (78') and Le Bihan (80') both called Ruffier into action once more, the men from the Côte knew that they had let the game slip. They even conceded a third goal, after Hamouma struck excellently from the edge of the box (81').
With this defeat and the point that Nîmes picked up from Guingamp, Les Aiglons slip down into 8th place before the derby on the final game of the season against AS Monaco.
The coach’s choices
Without his central duo of Hérelle and Dante for the first time this season, Patrick Vieira put his trust in two left-footed players who have come through the ranks at the club, Malang Sarr (who was wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in his career) and Olivier Boscagli. Andy Pelmard was on the right side and Racine Coly on the left. The midfield triangle was the classic one and in attack, Ignatius Ganago was preferred to Le Bihan, but was playing on the left, leaving Saint-Maximin through the middle. At the end of the game, Atal moved back when Le Bihan made his entrance.
26’: A free-kick on the right wing 35m out. Salibur struck it to the back post. Perrin, in an offside position, jumped higher than Tameze but didn’t manage to connect with the ball. Beric at the back post, however, was able to control and find a way past Benitez. After consulting with the VAR, Mr. Gautier awarded the goal.
65': Hamouma beat Coly on the right and crossed firmly to the penalty spot. Beric, seemingly in an offside position, scored with his shin. Once again, VAR found no reason to disallow…
81': Played in by M'Vila, Hamouma perfectly struck with his right and Benitez was left with no chance.
Saint-Etienne, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard,
AS Saint-Etienne 3-0 OGC Nice (half-time 1-0)
Week 37 of L1 - 18/05/2019
Approximately 30,000 spectators
Referee: Antony Gautier
Goals: Beric (26', 65'), Hamouma (81') for St Etienne
Yellow cards: Coly (62'), Lees-Melou (73') for Nice
St Etienne: Ruffier - Saliba, Perrin (cap.), Polomat (Fofana, 19'), Kolodziejczak - Aït Bennasser, M'Vila - Salibur (Vada, 66'), Hamouma (Ghezali, 83'), Nordin - Beric
OGC Nice: Benitez - Pelmard (Le Bihan, 79'), Sarr (cap.), Boscagli, Coly - Tameze (Makengo, 74'), Lees-Melou, Danilo - Atal, Saint-Maximin, Ganago (Srarfi, 66')