Ligue 1, Round 26, 03/03/23
OGC Nice were held by AJ Auxerre at the Allianz Riviera (1-1) . The draw halts Les Aiglons’ recent momentum but increases Didier Digard’s unbeaten run as manager.
Nice found it difficult to pick their way through a tightly-packed Auxerre defence and didn’t manage to procure any chances of note in the opening 30 minutes. Instead, it was Auxerre that looked the most dangerous. Matthis Abline had a huge chance inside the opening minute but lacked the composure to finish, with his outside-of-the-boot shot flying narrowly wide.
However, Les Aiglons continued to be threatened in transitional phases, and another such chance would come Auxerre’s way before the end of the half. This time, Abline laid off Gauthier Hein after a Dante mistake, the Auxerre winger putting the ball through Kasper Schmeichel’s legs.
Nice then sprung into life. Le Gym were offered a soft penalty when Khéphren Thuram went down after being tugged in the box, but Gaëtan Laborde, seemingly caught in two minds, put his spot-kick straight at Ionut Radu. The former Rennes striker made amends just minutes later with a bullet diving header after good work by Jordan Lotomba down the right.
Both sides struggled to create chances in the second half. Auxerre, having been pegged back, seemed comfortable to try and see out the draw and made it difficult for Nice. Hicham Boudaoui’s fiercely struck strike was tipped onto the bar by Radu. That would be the best chance on either side to take the three points with both sides ultimately having to settle for a draw.
Auxerre are out of the relegation zone by one point, whilst Les Aiglons are provisionally four points away from fifth-placed Rennes.
Nice player ratings
Kasper Schmeichel – 4
Ayoub Amraoui – 5
Dante – 4 – Made a misjudgement on the opener, being turned by Abline before missing his recovery tackle. Has been flawless recently but not tonight.
Jean-Clair Todibo – 5
Jordan Lotomba – 7 – The right-back is becoming such an integral part of this Nice team. He did well to manufacture space to create the assist for Laborde’s equaliser and a general menace throughout.
Khéphren Thuram – 7 – Not his most influential game, but always capable of changing the game in an instant. At this point, he is arguably the best midfield ball carrier in the league, and he displayed that again with a nice run into the box to earn the penalty, missed by Laborde. The Frenchman was very capable in the defensive phases, winning the vast majority of his duels.
Hicham Boudaoui – 5
Pablo Rosario – 4 – Aaron Ramsey’s absence was felt. Roasrio simply wasn’t as tidy, wasn’t as metronomic and didn’t allow Nice to control the midfield as they have in recent games.
Sofiane Diop – N/A – Slipped off the ball midway through the half and had to be replaced by Badredine Bouanani (5).
Terem Moffi – 4
Gaëtan Laborde – 5 – He made up for his poor penalty with a brilliant diving header. He occupied the defenders throughout, despite receiving little service.
Auxerre selected player ratings
Matthis Abline – 6
Isaak Touré – 7 – A couple of key interventions and composed on the ball, even under intense pressure. Given the performances of some centre-backs at parent club Marseille, maybe Touré would have been better sticking around at the Vélodrome for the second half of the season.
Gauthier Hein – 7
GFFN | Luke Entwistle