The freshness of the Canaries made the difference. Nantes players won the Coupe de France by beating Nice in the final on Saturday at the Stade de France (1-0). A penalty from Ludovic Blas, following a handball from Hicham Boudaoui just after the break, allowed Antoine Kombouaré’s men to win against favorite Aiglons but not enough biting. Maintained narrowly in Ligue 1 last season, Nantes offers its fourth Coupe de France and a European ticket. For Nice, it’s disillusionment.
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The Niçois of Christophe Galtier however entered strong in this final. Holder on the left wing, Amine Gouiri could have taken advantage of a poor dismissal from the Nantes defense and a pass from Pablo Rosario, but he took the ball badly in the middle of the surface from Alban Lafont, favorite to Remy Descamps. Initially mistreated by Gouiri and Melvin Bard, Marcus Coco and the people of Nantes recovered. The right piston sent a long center which allowed Moses Simon to return towards Ludovic Blas for an axial recovery from 20 meters that Marcin Bulka captured with difficulty (13th).
Confident by this first opportunity, the Canaries broke free and showed their attacking qualities. Their captain Blas showed himself in the center and combined with Quentin Merlin but he finally pushed his ball a little too much into the zone of truth (28th). Nice tried to respond in counterattacks but proved clumsy in the last gesture because Andy Delort and the very discreet Kasper Dolberg were eaten by an imperial Nicolas Pallois. At the break, the Azureans had fired only 3 shots for no target, against 6 for 2 targets on the Nantes side.
A cup, for absolute happiness: The presentation of the trophy to the people of Nantes
The final switches to a game fact
At the start of the second period, the Canaries went to bring danger into the opposing area where Bouadoui countered a cross from Merlin with his left arm. The referee Madame Frappart did not hesitate and Blas transformed the penalty from a shot into force (0-1, 47th). The Nantes captain scored 5 goals in this 2021-2022 edition. He also definitely offered a psychological advantage to his team which had lost twice to Nice in the league this season (0-2 then 2-1).
15 seconds into the game, an unfortunate hand and Blas tipped the final
The unfortunate Boudaoui was quick to give way to Justin Kluivert who brought more edge to the offensive sector of Nice (57th). It was however necessary to wait a quarter of an hour to see Gouiri, then Delort, finally worry Lafont who made a double parade to maintain his cage at zero (71st). Despite this burst in attack and a logical territorial domination at the end of the match, Nice never managed to get out of its classic patterns to really stifle the opposing defense.
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Perfectly united and supported by nearly 40,000 supporters, the people of Nantes held on. They won their fourth Coupe de France, the first since 2000 and the first against an elite club. Their good season is rewarded and they will play in the next Europa League. To see Europe, Nice will have to recover quickly and produce more play in their last three league matches.
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