Reims 1-1 Nice
February 5, 2020
Nice and Reims share the spoils
After leading in the game, Les Aiglons were pegged back by Reims at the end of the game and return to the Côte d’Azur with a point (1-1).
The hosts were certain of their strengths at home and attacked the match early on. Although the first chance of the match saw Boudaoui take the ball past the keeper, but push the ball just too far, before Les Rémois then attacked Benitez’s goal. The Argentine stopper was the first Niçois to prove decisive as he made several key saves to keep his side in the game.
Huddled in front of their goal, Les Aiglons stood strong against a high press and the intensity that the Red and Whites imposed on the game, before progressively getting their heads above water. Then it was their own turn to look dangerous. Firstly through Dolberg, after some good work from Lees-Melou, when the Danish forward demonstrated once again his perfect positioning, and his header forced Rajkovic into action at his near post. The men from the Côte, remained focused in defence and tried to keep the ball to regroup after the home side were weakened by two early enforced changes.
After half an hour, the game balanced out and the intensity of the game dropped off and space became a premium. In turns, the two sides forced the other to have their hearts in their mouths, as they got in behind the other’s defence. Dia was denied by Benitez (34’) while Claude-Maurice, after a superb piece of control in the box, couldn’t quite finish (38’). In the final moments of the first half, the visitors camped in the Reims’ half and following an excellent team move, Lees-Melou couldn’t find a way past Rajkovic (42’).
After the break, Les Niçois continued with the good intentions that they had began to show at the end of the first half. And they were rewarded for it. Boudaoui sent in an incredible cross from the right for Lees-Melou, who had wriggled free in the box, and PLM beat Rajkovic with an excellent header (0-1, 50'). Patrick Vieira’s side remained focused and committed and Boudaoui came close to doubling their lead (58'). Then, after the hour mark, Les Champenois up their pressing and ended up getting an equaliser from a corner, when in the 77th minute, their captain, Abdelhamid, climbed the highest in the box found the back of the net (1-1').
The final minutes of the match provided both sides with a chance to take all three points, but neither side managed to do so. Rémois and Niçois left he field with a draw and remain inseparable in the league table
The match in images
Kasper Dolberg puts Rajkovic to work at the near post
Walter Benitez organises his teammates
Danilo started in the heart of the Nice defence
Pierre Lees-Melou takes a free-kick
The midfielder dives to connect with a header that beats Rajkovic!
Les Azuréens celebrate the opener
Reims, Stade Auguste-Delaune
Stade de Reims 1-1 OGC Nice (half-time 0-0)
Matchday 23 of L1 - 5/2/2020
Referee: Eric Wattellier
Goals: Abdelhamid (77') for Reims, Lees-Melou (50') for Nice
Yellow cards: Cassama (72') for Reims
Stade de Reims: Rajkovic - Foket, Disasi, Abdelhamid (cap), Kamara - Chavalerin, Cassama - Dia, Dingome (Touré, 74'), Cafaro (Kutesa, 23'), Sierhuis (Mbuku, 13')
OGC Nice: Benitez - Herelle, Dante (cap), Danilo, Sarr - Thuram (Burner, 73'), Lees-Melou, Claude-Maurice - Boudaoui (Wagué, 87'), Ganago, Dolberg (Durmisi, 73')