January 24, 2022

In the thrills of Nantes / France / Nantes / SOFOOT.com

Author of a vibrant second period Friday when receiving Lens (3-2), FC Nantes stabilizes in the middle of the table and proves, after half of the championship, that it has found a soul.

Friday evening, it was an event at La Beaujoire, and not only because Franck Haise’s RC Lens went down to Loire-Atlantique. Disappeared on December 5 at the age of 72, the Briton John Miles was back in the FC Nantes playlist with his hit “Music”, which systematically accompanied the entry of players to Louis-Fonteneau until 2008. The Canaries took their time, but they paid a brilliant tribute to the musician, during this evening against the Sang et Or, with a second sparkling period to take the lead on the scoreboard, in extremis, at the end of 90 minutes (3-2) . A scenario never seen for the FCN for sixteen years, well before the Kita era therefore. It is above all the very first Nantes victory against a team from the first quarter of the championship this season, quite simply, even if it is not the best version of RCL that has presented itself in the city of the Dukes of Brittany. . But that did not prevent Ludovic Blas from igniting at the final whistle: “The first goal gives you wings. Afterwards, we simply walked on water. […] We haven’t won against a top 5 team since the start of the season. We wanted to mark the occasion. I think this victory will do us good in the head. She will give us a lot of confidence because what we have done this evening is enormous. ”

It is also the second time only, after the demonstrations in Angers (1-4) and against Brest (3-1) in September, that Antoine Kombouaré’s men have taken six points in two consecutive matches. Symbol of a dynamic gradually regained for this formation which, after a thunderous start to the exercise, had quietly fallen into line. Since the international break in mid-November, the Yellow and Green have discovered unsuspected resources in Paris (with an FCN back in the match and close to the feat despite the 3-1 defeat at the end), in Lille (draw 1 -1 snatched against a superior opponent), in Lorient (1-0 victory scratched on the only shot on target after having rounded the back for 90 minutes) and finally against Lens this Friday (success validated in additional time after having returned to the locker room at half-time at 0-2): many meetings which, last season, would have gone very badly for the Canaries. It is ultimately only against the OM of Jorge Sampaoli, Gerson and Dimitri Payet, at home during the sixteenth day (0-1), that the yellow house really seemed helpless, even if catchy.

The Blas Wounds

At the Moustoir, it was Wylan Cyprien, summer rookie and substitute for the day, who unblocked the situation. Refreshing, when you know that this team, most of the time, is often worn by the same men, more or less those who saved the club in 2020-2021 by the way. With the explosion of the ubiquitous Ludovic Blas (seven pawns, an assist and a vital role everywhere on the field), the landing finished of the boss Pedro Chirivella in the midfield, the reassurance of Alban Lafont (a little through against Lens) behind, the hellish legs of Moses Simon in the left lane and the talent of Randal Kolo Muani in front, Nantes have a solid base on which to rest. The last two named, less in sight for a few weeks, even woke up at the opportune moment, this weekend, to defeat Lens. Andrei Girotto, he was imperial in central hinge on the two recent Nantes successes – as every time he is aligned for this position – when Nicolas Pallois, 34, alternates the very big matches well testosterone and the passages empty.

Without imprinting any real paw or tactical identity on his team – he had clearly not come for that – Antoine Kombouaré has nevertheless put the ship right since his arrival at the helm last February (13 successes, 7 draws and 13 losses since his arrival), with a maintenance obtained a little miraculously (thanks in particular to a victory at the Parc des Princes in March and a big final sprint) at the end of a nightmarish season on all fronts. And this, while he has to deal with an extremely limited group: a desert at the position of full-back (on both sides) which notably led the young midfielder Quentin Merlin to make his hole in the left lane, a depth of bench non-existent (Marcus Coco, Jean-Kévin Augustin, Anthony Limbombe and Renaud Emond have disappeared from circulation while young people like Abdoulaye Sylla or Gor Manvelyan have not yet entered the rotation), but also reinforcements from the offseason to performance very questionable (Willem Geubbels, Osman Bukari, Wylan Cyprien). On Friday, the Kanak could in any case be satisfied with its troops: “Everything we did wrong in the premiere has turned upside down. We were enormous in the aggressiveness, even if it meant finding ourselves sometimes three against three behind, we recovered a lot of balls, which allowed us to feed our attackers and to have more opportunities. […] It is a great pride for me to see the Beaujoire explode like this. There was a turning point in Lille with the penalty stopped by Alban (Lafont, facing Jonathan David), this success at the end in Lorient and there, when we had never beaten a top 5 team. Hats off. ” It has even been a few days since Waldemar Kita made a wave: the planets seem to be aligned.

By Jérémie Baron