Nantes held Lyon to a 0-0 stalemate at Stade de la Beaujoire in Ligue 1’s gameweek 18. The Rhône outfit failed to convert its late push for a winner as Nantes put on a solid defensive display.
Olympique Lyonnais struck with the first chance as Thiago Mendes curled a third minute free-kick onto the bar and dominated possession, as the hosts sat deep and relied on counter-attacking play. Mostafa Mohamed couldn’t find the back of the net after some good footwork on the right side by Evann Guessand. Lyon and Nantes both showed attacking intent yet were hampered by a degree ofclumsiness around the penalty boxes.
Les Canaris grew into the game thanks to their defensive discipline which frustrated Lyon – Nantes finished the first period on a high with chances coming from Ludovic Blas and Moussa Sissoko both saved by Anthony Lopes.
The second half saw Lyon’s struggles continue but half-time also seemed to have cut Nantes’ momentum short. Les Canaris resorted to a low-risk brand of football as both teams rang the changes. Marcus Coco, Ignatius Ganago, Corentin Tolisso and Rayan Cherki entered the fray past the hour mark. The latter showed clout and drive as Lyon ramped up the pressure on Alban Lafont’s goal.
But in the end, both teams failed to break the deadlock. Nantes held on for a point – which can prove useful for its relegation-battling second half of the season, while European qualification keeps getting away from Lyon.
NANTES – 0
Alban Lafont, 6 – Another flawless display from the French international goalkeeper.
Fabien Centonze, 5
Jean-Charles Castelletto, 6 – In the absence of mainstay Nicolas Pallois, the Cameroonian international rose up to the occasion and kept Alexandre Lacazette mostly at bay.
Andrei Girotto, 5
Quentin Merlin, 5
Moussa Sissoko, 4 – The former Tottenham man keeps struggling this season, conceding cheap fouls and failing to impose himself in Nantes’ midfield. He should have done better at the 30-minute mark when through on goal.
Pedro Chirivella, 5
Ludovic Blas, 5 – Nantes’ playmaker was a constant threat for Lyon with his passing ability and vision during transitions. As his teammate, he went quiet during the second half.
Evann Guessand, 5
Mostafa Mohamed, 3 – The Egyptian missed a sitter and should have put Nantes 1-0 up and was kept quiet by the Lovren-Lukeba partnership.
Moses Simon, 4
LYON – 0
Anthony Lopes, 6 – The Portuguese stood tall in front of Sissoko and proved again he was one of Lyon best performers in their troubled season.
Saël Kumbedi, 4
Dejan Lovren, 6 – The Croatian returned to Ligue 1 and didn’t really look out of place at all. His tenacity, aerial ability and reading of the game proved vital. A solid and reassuring start.
Castello Lukeba, 4
Nicolas Tagliafico, 3 – A rugged return. The Argentine world champion left plenty of space for Centonze to run into without proving really useful on his attacking left side.
Thiago Mendes, 4
Maxence Caqueret, 5
Johann Lepenant, 4
Karl Toko Ekambi, 3 – Another game to forget from the Cameroonian international, who was once again ineffectual in posession, losing too many balls and failing to work up an understanding with Lacazette.
Tetê, 3 – An evening as disappointing as his right-sided counterpart. He resorted to diving and was logically boked. He was later replaced by Rayan Cherki, who looked the part.
Alexandre Lacazette, 5 – For his 500th club game, the former Arsenal man showed plenty of energy but he was worryingly isolated and relied on long-range efforts to make his presence felt – one of which almost
GFFN | Bastien Cheval