A first-half collapse sealed the Coupe de France final early on, as Toulouse ripped apart a sorry Nantes defence with some incisive counter-attacking to claim only their second-ever cup win.
The newcomers wasted no time in getting off the mark, as Logan Costa headed in the opener after just three minutes for his first ever goal as a professional. The 22-year-old would not have to wait much longer for his second, as he headed in another from close range to double his side’s lead within the first ten minutes.
The next two Toulouse goals would see Montanier’s men carve up Les Canaris on the counter with spectacular ease – both times, in-form striker Thijs Dallinga was on hand to apply the finishing touch.
With Nantes down and out, the pace in the second half would decidedly die down – although the fervour from the Nantes supporters remained sky-high. Ludovic Blas – who scored the winner in last year’s final – would grab a consolation goal from the spot with fifteen minutes to go, but it wasn’t enough to revive his team’s hopes. Not least given Zakarian Aboukhlal would restore the four-goal three minutes later with a thunderous strike from range. Toulouse’s ambitious project – which first took them back to Ligue 1, and then to mid-table safety – reaps its just rewards, and Les Violets earn their first Coupe de France win since 1957.
Nantes player ratings
Alban Lafont, 2 – A nightmare first half for the Frenchman – who had been one of the team’s best performers so far this season – as he struggled to contend with Toulouse’s constant attacks, notably parrying Farès Chaïbi’s shot straight into Dallinga’s path for the opponents’ third.
João Victor, 2
Jean-Charles Castelletto, 2
Nicolas Pallois, 3
Fabien Centonze, 3
Andrei Girotto, 3
Moussa Sissoko, 3 – Another lost final for the former French international – this time, he will have had his fair share of the blame. Decidedly lost the midfield battle, with Toulouse constantly breezing past him. Missed a close-range chance at the start of the second half and lost the ball far too often.
Florent Mollet, 3
Ludovic Blas, 4 – Once again scored in a Coupe de France final – only this time, his team shipped five instead of keeping a clean sheet. Otherwise, the captain struggled to make much of an impact on the game, save for a handful of promising carries forward.
Mostafa Mohamed, 4
Moses Simon, 3
Toulouse player ratings
Kjetil Haug, 6
Mikkel Desler, 6
Logan Costa, 9 – Not a bad place to get your first two goals in professional football – the defender struck twice within the first ten minutes, and was an assured presence in his more familiar position in defence.
Rasmus Nicolaisen, 5 – A mostly good performance, in line with the rest of the Toulouse defence, but gave away a largely avoidable penalty which afforded Nantes their consolation goal.
Gabriel Suazo, 7 – The Chiliean came up with arguably the highlight of the game with his pin-point long ball from his own half for Farès Chaïbi to latch onto, splitting the Nantes defence and setting up Dallinga’s second.
Stijn Spierings, 7
Branco van den Boomen, 7
Brecht Dejaegere, 7
Farès Chaïbi, 6
Thijs Dallinga, 8 – A clinical performance from the Dutchman, who continued his impressive run of form with another two goals to take him to 15 in all competitions in 2023.
Zakaria Aboukhlal, 7