Nice 3-1 Montpellier
Le Gym go to town!
On Sunday, Le Gym came out on top at home against Montpellier following a superb team performance (3-1).
Adrian Ursea was expecting a reaction from his side after the disappointment against Dijon last weekend (2-0). That reaction came with all the ingredients needed to turn a potential banana skin match into a Sunday filled with sunshine.
Up against the fifth best attack in the country before Matchday 34, Les Aiglons knew they would be up against a side that would look to play. And they weren't disappointed as the visitors started brightly and Cozza hit the bar after just one minute, before they then opened the scoring, thanks to the Delort – Laborde duo. The former played a diagonal pass to Ristic who found the latter and the Frenchman headed home (0-1, 3’).
Until that point, you could have been forgiven for expecting a difficult Sunday. It was, but for the men from La Paillade. Boosted by the incredible work of their two box-to-box midfielders, Boudaoui and Claude-Maurice, Le Gym, set-up in a 4-3-3, raised the tone and progressively took control of the encounter, before dominating through some smart play and the speed of their attacks.
Very quickly, OGC Nice got back on level terms. ACM won the ball back just outside the centre circle from the feet of Ferri, then found Dolberg, who beat Cozza and played in for Boudaoui, who celebrated his return to the side with the equaliser (1-1, 6’).
The two sides then went toe to toe in the first half, with chances at either end. Le Gym started to push forward, keep the ball, dominate the midfield, before they deservedly took the lead. A marvellous free-kick from Claude-Maurice found Todibo who was quicker than everyone else in the box and turned the ball home to take the lead (2-1, 39’).
One minute later, Claude-Maurice made the most of a poorly cleared ball in the box to slip the ball into the back of the net (3-1, 40’).
Involved in all of the Nice goals, and generally at the heart of every good move, ACM took the wind out of the visitors' sails. The half-time break, however, seemed to galvanise Les Rouge et Noir. When they came back out for the second half, they never stopped pushing as they tried to put the game to bed. Youcef Atal was particularly active on the right wing in his first match back from injury.
Les Aiglons created chance after chance in the second half: Atal crossed powerfully into the box, beat Congré and tried to curl into the back of the net; Dolberg turned and was denied by a defender's leg, before seeing his header blocked by Sambia; Ndoye, who had only just come on, tried to cross firmly, before taking his chance; just like Lees-Melou, who also came on off of the bench. On each of these occasions, just a touch of precision was lacking in order to add another goal to their tally.
Loyal to their spirit, MHSC tried to attack but Le Gym bravely defended their lead, and Benitez was called into action to keep the score as it was towards the end of the encounter. The Argentine boxed away a strike from Sambia, then pulled off an impeccable save to deny Laborde's acrobatic effort.
Until the very end, Adrian Ursea's side dominated and looked to attack.
They deservedly celebrated once the final whistle sounded after the three minutes of added time. Satisfied by a job well done.
The victory in images:
In the 6th minute, Boudaoui allowed Le Gym to get back on level terms
After beating Cozza, Dolberg played the ball to Boudaoui for the equaliser
With 5 minutes to go until the break, Todibo took the lead for his side. His first goal for Nice.
Kamara up against Ferri
Immediately after Todibo's goal, Claude-Maurice made it three
The three Red and Black goalscorers
Nice, Allianz Riviera,
OGC Nice 3-1 Montpellier Hérault SC (3-1 at half-time)
Matchday 34 of L1 - 25/4/2021
Behind closed doors
Referee: Bastien Dechepy
Goals: Boudaoui (6'), Todibo (39') and Claude-Maurice (40') for Nice; Laborde (3') for Montpellier
Yellow cards: Boudaoui (59') for Nice; Mollet (56') and Wahi (66') for Montpellier
OGC Nice: Benitez - Lotomba (Ndoye, 81'), Todibo, Saliba, Kamara - Claude-Maurice, Schneiderlin (cap), Boudaoui (Lees-Melou, 64') - Atal (Daniliuc, 64'), Dolberg, Rony Lopes (Noski, 90+1').
Montpellier HSC: Omlin - Sambia, Congré (Le Tallec, 60'), Cozza (Vidal, 79'), Ristić - Ferri (Chotard, 60'), Savanier, Mollet (Skuletic, 79') - Mavididi (Wahi, 60'), Delort (cap), Laborde.