The Gym lack ruthlessness against Fulham
OGC Nice lost to Fulham 2-0 on Saturday, having conceded two penalties against the run of play.
For their third warm-up match, Nice lost to Fulham (0-2). The niçois dominated the game and created the best chances but lacked efficiency in front of goal. Lucien Favre decided at kick-off to keep the same young team that had finished the game against Benfica the day before, with two changes, Boulhendi and Lemina coming in.
Boulhendi, Atal (c), Nahounou, Daniliuc, Lotomba, Bouanani, Belahyane, Lemina, Claude-Maurice, Trouillet and Brahimi started the game wearing the third 2022-2023 jersey for the first time, in a 4-4-2 formation.
THE GYM BEHIND AGAINST THE RUN OF PLAY
The first quarter of the game offered little rhythm. Teddy Boulhendi had no trouble catching a header from Mc Avoy. The Gym then created the first dangerous situations of the match. Brahimi broke through on the right-hand side of the penalty area and saw his left-footed shot blocked. The ball came back to Trouillet who hit a right-footed shot first time but Rodak grabbed the ball.
A superb lobbed pass from the technically gifted Reda Belahyane was met by Badredine Bouanani who controlled the ball with his thigh but missed. The Gym players were on top of the game and kept control of the ball, forcing the Cottagers to commit fouls. Billal Brahimi's low free-kick just before the edge of the box ended up in the side netting.
The Rouge et Noir continued to put pressure on the English side's defence. Brahimi, who was very active, accelerated into the box and passed back to Claude-Maurice, who was totally unmarked in the area. The 24-year-old midfielder's powerful right-footed shot was heading towards goal but was cleared for a corner by Odutayo. But against the run of play and after Atal fouled Harris, Fulham opened the scoring from the penalty spot through Kebano (0-1, 41').
Just before half-time, Brahimi hit a right-footed shot after a one-two with Claude-Maurice but missed his one-on-one with Rodak, who turned the ball away. Lucien Favre's men were dominant and dangerous in the attacking phases but lacked efficiency and went into the break trailing by a goal.
After the break, the Aiglons went on the attack again. The lively Bouanani played the ball into the box and Brahimi fired in a left-footed shot at goal, but the Cottagers' defence blocked his effort. The Algerian international struck another left-footed shot a few minutes later but Odutayo's tackle turned the ball away from goal. Marcin Bulka, who came on at the start of the second half, made two saves before the hour mark. The Pole cleared Odutayo's header for a corner and saved a powerful shot from Jasper.
For the last half hour, Lucien Favre made several changes. Bulka, Mendy, Todibo, Dante (cap), Bard, Boudaoui, Rosario, Traoré, Da Cunha, Gouiri and Delort made up the eleven for the end of the match. Andy Delort was quickly visible. The bison from Sète turned in a pinpoint cross from Mendy, but the striker's stinging header flew centimetres wide of Rodak's goal. Moments later, the 2021-2022 Aiglon of the season attempted an acrobatic finish in the box after a cross from Bard but Rodak tipped the ball away for a corner.
In the final ten minutes of normal time, the referee pointed to the penalty spot after Todibo fouled Jasper. Wilson fired past Bulka to double Fulham's lead (83'). The Gym then tried to reduce the gap but Melvin Bard's right-footed shot in stoppage time was blocked by the Fulham defence. It was after this move that Andy Delort limped off the pitch.
The score remained the same and the Aiglons lost. But the match ended in a penalty shoot-out, won by the Cottagers 2-3. This will be used to decide between the teams in case of a tie in the final ranking (the tournament is played between 3 teams: OGC Nice, Benfica and Fulham).
THE PRE-SEASON TRAINING CAMP CONTINUES
After having played three friendly matches since the start of the season, the Gym will end their training camp in Portugal with a match against AS Roma next Saturday (20:00). A week later, the Aiglons will face another Italian team, Torino FC, in a final test at the Allianz Riviera (30 May at 17:00).
The facts and figures
OGC Nice 0-2 Fulham (2-3 on penalties)
Goals: Kebano (41'p) and Wilson (83,p) for Fulham
Boulhendi (Bulka 46') - Atal (cap), Nahounou, Daniliuc, Lotomba - Bouanani, Belahyane, Lemina (Traoré 46'), Trouillet - Claude-Maurice, Brahimi.
From the 60th minute : Bulka - Mendy, Todibo, Dante (cap), Bard - Boudaoui, Rosario, Traoré, Da Cunha - Gouiri, Delort.
Fulham starting 11
Rodak - Fossey, Mc Avoy, Odutayo, Robinson - Reed (cap), Chalobah - Jasper, Harris, Kebano - Stansfield
Referee: Helder Carvalho