Nice 2-0 Reims
November 3, 2019
Le Gym back on track
On Sunday, Le Gym beat Reims on Matchday 12 of L1 (2-0), sampling the sweet taste of victory, something they hadn’t done since Dijon visited the Allianz Riviera (2-1, 21 September) and reassuringly return to mid-table.
The features of the game
In order to get going again, Les Aiglons needed to get back to basics: win their duels and bring the right amount of agression. On Sunday, on a fresh autumn evening, they did both and allowed themselves to break their bad run of form (five defeats and one draw in the last six matches). The first minutes of the game proved that there was a lack of confidence. But progressively, they reassured themselves. Defensively in the first instance, where they conceded next to no chances to the visitors and kept their first clean sheet of the season. In attack, they created several chances, found the back of the net, doubled their lead in the final quarter of an hour of the first half and, generally tried to look dangerous.
It is often said that in order to succeed in a match, you need to carefully manage the key moments of the game. Les Rouge et Noir did just that. With a numerical advantage after Doumbia picked up two yellow cards – one for a foul, the other for “applauding” the referee (25’) - Patrick Vieira’s side almost had victory secured at half-time. Coly sent the ball into the box, it was cleared as far as Lees-Melou who laid it off for Cyprien, and the midfielder buried a sumptuous half-volley into the back of the net - his fifth goal of the season and fourth in L1 (1-0, 25’).
Nine minutes later, Wylan sent in a corner, Dante won the first battle in the air at the far post, Herelle won the second duel on the ground, and the ball ended up in the net after the n°29’s effort was deflected by Romao (2-0, 41’).
With the two goal lead in the bag and an extra man, Le Gym looked destined to break their winless run. And they could have made it even worse, particularly when PLM played in Ganago, but the Ivorian couldn’t find a way past Rajkovic (43'). They were, however, well assisted by Benitez who made saves when called upon, in a 1-on-1 with Cafaro (51') and from a strike from Dia (73').
On the whole, the second half was less intense and competitive than the first. Les Rouge et Noir tried to push forward, without leaving more gaps than necessary and ensured three precious points.
Three points that place them in the middle of an extremely tight table. Three points off of the podium, yet only four from the relegation zone (see below).
Patrick Vieira’s choices
Les Aiglons started Matchday 12 in a 3-6-1 to face Reims’ 4-2-3-1.
In front of Benitez, a trio of Herelle – Dante – Sarr made up the defence.
A square in front allowed them to control the midfield. Cyprien and Danilo played in front of the back four, while Lees-Melou and Claude-Maurice were based slightly further forward, as playmakers.
This quartet left the wings free for Atal (on the right) and Coly (on the left).
Finally Ganago started up front on his own and added depth to the side.
After an hour, Burner came on as a like-for-like change for Herelle, who had felt something in his hamstring.
Dolberg came on up front in the final quarter of an hour to replace Ganago.
Finally, Thuram took Claude-Maurice’s place in midfield.
The results from Matchday 12
The league table
Nice, Allianz Riviera,
OGC Nice 2-0 Stade de Reims (2-0 at half-time)
Matchday 12 of L1 - 03/11/2019
15 468 spectators
Referee: Jérémy Stinat
Goals: Cyprien (32'), Herelle (41') for Nice
Yellow cards: Atal (16') for Nice ; Doumbia (26', 26'), Romao (33') for Reims
Red cards: Doumbia (26') for Reims
OGC Nice: Benitez - Atal, Herelle (Burner 66'), Dante (cap), Sarr, Coly - Lees-Melou, Cyprien, Danilo, Claude-Maurice (Thuram 84') - Ganago (Dolberg 74').
Stade de Reims: Rajkovic - Foket, Disasi, Abdelhamid, Kamara - Romao (cap) (Munetsi 60'), Chavalerin - Cafaro (Kutesa 75'), Oudin (Nkada 70'), Doumbia - Dia.