Largely dominated in Lens, Nice sees the Champions League move away


The Niçois fell from above, this Sunday afternoon, on behalf of the 31st day of Ligue 1. Traveling to Lens, they had the opportunity to put pressure on Strasbourg (4th), tied on points and on Marseille (3rd), five units ahead, in their quest for the Champions League.

But, after a rather well controlled first period, without however managing to take the advantage, they broke down after the break, carried away by the formidable state of mind of the Northerners (8th), who suddenly come back four points behind their opponents. of the day.

From the start, therefore, the Azureans settled in the Sang et Or camp. And they quickly obtained opportunities, such as those of Amine Gouiri, who failed on Jean-Louis Leca (2nd), and Andy Delors , who failed to lower his head (12th).

This initial domination, which suffocated the Lensois, preventing them from leaving, led to a first incident with the exclusion of Massadio Haïdara, for an excess of commitment, while Youcef Atal arrived at the dry cleaners, on the right side ( 17th).

The adverse influence was even more evident. But Evann Guessand, established in attack in place of Kasper Dolberg (sick), was clumsy (22nd, 25th). Then Gouiri, positioned on the left side, again lost his duel against Leca (27th), while Justin Kluivert found the outside post, by tackling the center of Dante (45th + 2).

Going from a 3-4-1-2 to a 4-4-1, the Northerners left, in the second half without Ignatius Ganago, impossible to touch, but with Arnaud Kalimuendo, and other intentions, above all. The international Espoirs immediately stood out, with a shot off target (46th).

Then everything changed in 6 minutes. Those who saw the opener from the same Kalimuendo, taking advantage of a center back from David Pereira Da Costa, poorly cleared (51st), a superb second goal from Cheick Doucouré (55th), and the exclusion of Lensois Mario Lemina for a second yellow card (57th).

This last event definitively extinguished the ambitions of Nice, even before Kalimuendo went to transform a victory into a triumph (67th). And as it was written that the Nice people would be black until the end, Dante was in turn excluded (directly) for a dangerous tackle on Kalimuendo (90th + 1), which will therefore have driven Christophe Galtier’s men crazy, particularly upset by this heavy setback.

The player: Doucouré, it’s square

The Malian international will have done everything in Nice, or almost. Let’s start with the most visible. He had not yet scored, this season, it is now done. And how ! The Lensois defensive midfielder, 18 meters from Walter Benitez’s goal, rolled up a ball love to deceive the Argentine goalkeeper (55th). But he is also decisive on the other achievements of his team. By making the shift on the opener (51st), then by launching Kalimuendo perfectly on the 3rd goal (67th). And, in his area, he (involuntarily) caused the second yellow card and therefore the exclusion of Lemina (57th). And needless to say, Doucouré has still done a lot of work in recovery…


Nice have not won any of their last four Ligue 1 matches: two draws and two defeats. It’s his worst streak of the season.



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