PLAYER RATINGS | Brest 0-0 Nice: scoreless draw allows both sides to consolidate Champions League spots

Ligue 1 Uber Eats, Round 20, 04/02/2023

OGC Nice and Stade Brestois both remain on the podium after the European hopefuls saw out a relatively uneventful 0-0 draw at the Stade Francis Le-Blé. 

The return match between these two sides ended in a 0-0 draw, and given Nice’s continued defensive solidity and the need for Brest to not lose a match against a direct rival for the Champions League places, goals weren’t a given in this fixture. Both sides have been well organised, and chances were indeed at a premium in the first half. 

Nice consistently caused Brest problems, but without creating anything clear-cut. Evann Guessand did well, dropping deep and linking play, and his connection with Morgan Sanson caused Kenny Lala and Brendan Chardonnet plenty of problems. On the other side, Gaëtan Laborde was less involved, but in one transitional move, he drifted left and linked with Guessand, putting a nice ball in behind. Guessand beat Lilian Brassier for pace, but the latter made an important intervention, with the former’s deflected shot drifting inches wide. 

Brest, however, more than had a hold in this game and asked questions of Nice’s defence. The best chance of the half fell to Martín Satriano. Hugo Magnetti’s long-range volley was parried by Marcin Bulka and into the patch of Satriano, who lacked composure with his finish, blasting over with a first-time effort, when he could instead have taken a touch. 

After Sanson missed a half chance early in the second-half, Brest then seized control of the game and significantly upped the tempo, which saw spaces appear. However, they were spaces that neither side could truly exploit. Satriano had another chance, but his flying header beat the near post. 

Neither side could fashion anything clear cut and as the final while approached it became clear that both sides were happy to play out a draw. The 0-0 draw allows both sides to remain on the podium. Brest remain in third, one point ahead of fourth-placed Lille OSC, whilst Nice remain in second, but are now eight points away from leaders Paris Saint-Germain. 

Brest player ratings

Marco Bizot – 5
Bradley Locko – 7

The France U21 international had his corridor on lockdown throughout, forcing Nice to try their luck on the other wing. He was aggressive in his defending, making crucial interventions and getting in front of his man on multiple occasions. 

Lilian Brassier – 6
Brendan Chardonnet – 6

Having been targeted and caught short on a couple occasions, notably with a fould on Mohamed-Ali Cho, which earned him a yellow card, he was a monster in the air, winning all five of his aerial duels. 

Kenny Lala – 4
Hugo Magnetti – 6
Pierre Lees-Melou – 7 

Once again crucial for Les Pirates. He was metronomic in possession, (89% pass success rate) notably completing five out of his eight long balls, and diligent out of possession, making an impressive six interceptions and winning five out of his seven ground duels. If Brest do miraculously earn Champions League football for next season, it will be in huge part thanks to the former Norwich City midfielder’s efforts.

Mahdi Camara – 5
Mathias Pereira Lage – 5
Martín Satriano – 4

The Uruguayan wasn’t overly involved in the first-half, although he was diligent in his defensive work. He was culpable of adding the finishing touch to two of Brest’s best chances. He certainly should have done better with his finish in the first-half, where he showed a complete lack of composure. 

Romain Del Castillo – 5

Nice player ratings

Marcin Bulka – 4
Melvin Bard – 7

Once again fantastic in and out of possession. With Sanson and Guessand, he formed a formidable trio down the left-hand-side. Nice looked at their most dangerous when these three were interchanging. Despite the arrival of Romain Perraud in the summer, Bard has very much made the left-back berth his own. 

Dante – 6
Jean-Clair Todibo – 7

Faultless defensively, his long-range distribution up to Guessand, whose hold-up play was impeccable, was crucial in allowing Nice to get up the field, especially in the second-half, when Guessand became key to Nice’s efforts on the counter.

Jordan Lotomba – 6
Hicham Boudaoui – 4
Youssouf Ndayishimiye – 5
Morgan Sanson – 6

Highly involved in the first-half, making runs in behind Lala and causing Chardonnet plenty of problems. However, his influence waned significantly in the second-half as Nice’s handle on the game slipped.

Khéphren Thuram – 4

It was another subdued performance from the France international, who is struggling to recreate last season’s form. An error-free but un-influential performance. 

Evann Guessand – 7

Academy product Guessand has certainly steeped up in Terem Moffi’s absence, showing he can be much more than simply a back-up option. His link-up play surpasses that of his Niegerian teammate, whilst he also has the intelligence to know when to run in-behind. He’s becoming a more complete striker this season, however, he still needs to add that finishing touch. That being said, finishing isn’t always the strongsuit of modern No.9s, many of whom are much more widely acclaimed than Guessand. 

Gaëtan Laborde – 4

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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