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Too late a reaction

Amiens 1-0 Nice

February 23, 2019

Too late a reaction

On Saturday, OGC Nice fell to defeat against Amiens during Week 26 of L1 (1-0). Quickly trailing, the Aiglons were unable to reduce the gap, even though they showed a little more in the second half. 

The features 

Dominated by Amiens for 75 minutes, the Gym tried to push in the final quarter of an hour. It wasn’t enough to get back into the game and to turn around their recent form away from home.  Are Christophe Pélissier’s squad fighting for survival in the top-flight? They started brightly and really troubled Malang Sarr and his teammates in the very first minutes of the game. And it paid off. Starting in a flat 4-4-2, the Nordistes defended on the front foot and pressed high up the pitch, imposing real physicality on the game. The Aiglons were unable to find an answer to this pressure, apart from in the final stages of the game. Dominated in their battles, they made the challenge ahead of them even more complicated from the start of the game, as Guirassy got the opener after just 11 minutes.

Suffocated in the first half, the Gym still tried to play, but were lacking in too many areas to trouble the home side. However, at the break, a great stop from Benitez after a strike from Guirassy (8’) and an excellent last-ditch piece of defending from Cyprien to block Blin’s effort (35’) kept the hope alive for the visitors. In order to turn things around, they were going to need to make more of an impact offensively, where in the first half, only a strike from Lees-Melou (10’) and a run from Saint-Maximin (27’) were particularly noteworthy.

Benitez made another decisive save just after the break, winning his battle with Guirassy, who had been played in by Monconduit (53'). Amiens continued to push, but without finding a second, the Gym’s belief began to grow. A run from Saint-Maximin which was converted by Makengo (62') proved that there was still plenty at stake, but Mr. Leonard disallowed the goal after ASM had been in an offside position at the start of the move. 

Before the final quarter of an hour, Amiens continued to dominate on the whole and were coming out on top of the one-on-ones, be that on the floor or in the air. Lees-Melou cleared a header from Guirassy off his own line (68'). But still alive, Nice began to really start playing in the "money time", and created two chances from corners, but headers from Diaby-Fadiga and Hérelle weren’t enough to get the equaliser. 

Coach Vieira’s choices

Without several members of his squad at kick-off, including his captain, Dante (suspended), Patrick Vieira started with a very young line-up, playing in a 4-3-3. Andy Pelmard (at left-back) and Maxime Pelican up-front, started a fixture for the first time in L1.

At the back, Christophe Hérelle and Malang Sarr made-up the central pairing, with Patrick Burner at right back.  In the middle, Pierre Lees-Melou made his return to the starting 11, alongside Wylan Cyprien – captain at kick-off - and Adrien Tameze.

In attack, JV Makengo (on the right) and Allan Saint-Maximin (on the left) played either side of Pelican.

On the hour mark, the coach dropped Makengo into midfield and replaced Tameze with Srarfi. Then sent on Diaby-Fadiga to replace Pelican, with around thirty minutes to go. The young forward’s header just missed the target just after coming onto the pitch (71') and he showed a lot of desire. 

Finally, Danilo came on to replace Makengo in midfield, with 10 minutes to go.

The goal

11’ Monconduit picked up the ball in midfield, then played in Konaté through the middle. The former Sion attacker played the ball perfectly in behind Hérelle. The timing of the pass was perfect. The finish was too, as Guirassy, who was just onside, succeeded in finding a way past Benitez. 

Amiens, Stade de la Licorne,
Amiens SC 1-0 OGC Nice (1-0 at half-time)

Week 26 of L1 - 23/02/2019

11,000 spectators approximately

Referee: Thomas Léonard

Goals: Guirassy (11') for Amiens

Yellow cards: Sarr (21'), Makengo (53') for Nice 

Amiens SC: Gurtner - Krafth, Gouano (cap), Lefort, Pieters - Otero (Mendoza 60'), Monconduit, Blin, Ghoddos (Timité 86') - Konaté (Gnahoré 86'), Guirassy. 

OGC Nice: Benitez, Burner, Hérelle, Sarr, Pelmard - Tameze (Srarfi 59'), Cyprien (cap), Lees-Melou - Makengo (Danilo 81'), Pelican (Diaby-Fadiga 66'), Saint-Maximin.