The Gym lose to Girona at the end of their training camp (1-2)
This Saturday, the Gym lost against Girona at the end of their training camp in Marbella (1-2). In the lead for most of the game thanks to a goal by Billal Brahimi (10'), the equaliser came in the 99', after a burst by Roca, and then the Catalans grabbed the winner with a header by Hernandez in the 105'. Two days after their 4-1 win over Standard Liege, Lucien Favre took advantage of the 120-minute match (divided into four periods) to field two different teams with the aim of giving his outfield players, who are still preparing, an hour's play. The objective was achieved, except for Ross Barkley, who came on for the second part of the match but left the field early after taking a bad knock. Teddy Boulhendi was the only Aiglon to remain on the pitch throughout the match, putting in a very solid performance.
A COMMITTED GYM LEAD FOR THE FIRST HOUR
Lined up in a classic 4-4-2 formation, the Gym started the game perfectly. Here is the formation that took part in the first 60 minutes, with notably Youcef Atal (ill against Standard Liege) back on the right of the defence.
Boulhendi – Atal, Todibo, Dante (cap), Viti – Brahimi, Beka Beka, Thuram, Boudaoui – Pepe, Delort.
Always active and dangerous, Nicolas Pepe had the first two chances of the match. First, a hard shot was saved by Fuidias (5'). On the second, his whipped left-footed free kick was tipped over by the keeper (9'). It was Billal Brahimi, lined up as a right winger - which made Hicham Boudaoui switch to the left - who found the net early on, with a driving shot that beat the Catalan keeper (1-0, 10').
Leading and dominating after the first quarter of the match, the Aiglons retreated as the minutes went by, dealing with Girona's attacks well. With the exception of a Castellanos goal that was flagged offside (18'), the back four - Atal, Todibo, Dante and Viti on the left - perfectly led the defensive organisation of the Côte d'Azur 11.
The match was balanced, with each team having its good periods. Teddy Boulhendi kept his team in the lead with a superb save on 42 minutes. Then the Aiglons put their foot on the gas again from the 50th minute, with Nicolas Pepe still free, hovering around Andy Delort. Castellanos, the most dangerous man in the Catalan ranks, almost equalised with a magnificent free-kick (58'), which fortunately went wide.
GIRONA COME AWAY VICTORS DESPITE A GOOD REACTION AT THE END OF THE GAME
Lucien Favre changed his 10 outfield players after the second half of the match, but again kept his system: the 4-2-3-1 (or 4-4-2 depending on the defensive or offensive phases). Here is the team that started the second half of this warm-up match:
Boulhendi – Lotomba, Nahounou, Bech Sorensen, Bard – Bouanani, Belahyane, Rosario, Bryan (Traoré 109’) – Barkley (Ilie 73’), Laborde (cap).
The second half was played with less intensity, and the two sides were initially cancelling each other out. Ross Barkley was forced off in the 73rd minute after a bad knock and was replaced by Rares Ilie, who came on to play alongside captain Laborde.
Teddy Boulhendi, who was in great form, made a sumptuous save in the 75th minute, from a shot from the experienced Stuani. The response from Nice, in what was becoming a back and forth encounter, came in the 80th minute, with a good right-footed shot from Laborde, pushed away by the opposing keeper. Espinoza's header from a corner in the 91st minute sent another shiver down the spine of the Nice side before the final half-hour.
The Spaniards, who were starting to take the game to Nice, took advantage of the final stretch of the match to equalise, through young Joel Roca who beat Boulhendi after a great cross over Bech Sorensen (1-1, 99'). Nice conceded a second time from a corner, which Javi Hernandez converted (1-2, 105').
The Gym tried to equalise late on, led by a lively Rares Ilie, but Lotomba's header was saved by Gazzaniga (111'). The young Daouda Traoré came on and hit the post with a wonderful shot (112'), and Ilie missed the target a minute later. Traoré, again, had a shot saved by Argentine goalkeeper and the score did not change, despite a good reaction from the Red and Black at the end of the game.
The Aiglons will continue their preparation on Friday, at the Allianz Riviera, with a match against Atalanta (kick-off at 8pm).
The team sheets
OGC Nice 1-2 Girona FC
Goals for Gym : Brahimi (10')
Goals for Girona : Roca (99') and Hernandez (105')
OGC Nice starting 11 (1st half) : Boulhendi - Atal, Todibo, Dante, Viti, Boudaoui, Thuram, Beka Beka, Brahimi, Pepe, Delort.
OGC Nice starting 11 (2nd half) : Boulhendi - Lotomba, Nahounou, Bech Sorensen, Bard - Bouanani, Belahyane, Rosario, Bryan (Traoré 109') - Barkley (Ilie 73'), Laborde (cap)
Girona FC starting 11 (1st half) : Fuidias - Miguel, Arnau, David Lopez, Terrats, Castellanos, Samu Saiz, Toni Villa, Santi Bueno, Ivan Martin, Joel Roca