Nice wins with a heavy heart, Lille hanging on at home

Despite the difficult context for the city of Nice, striker Amine Gouiri was decisive by being the sole scorer for Gym in the victory against Hapoel Beer-Sheva, at the Allianz Riviera, Thursday, October 29.

It was not easy to think about football, this Thursday, October 29, for the players and managers of the OGC Nice club, after the knife attack which left three dead in the Notre-Dame basilica in the city, in the morning. But the Gym won an important sporting victory, and highly symbolic against Hapoel Beer Sheva (1-0). With this success, the Nice, swept 6-2 at Leverkusen in the first match, kicked off their European season on Matchday 2 of Group C of the Europa League.

“It’s complicated to talk about football after the attack. We think of the families of the victims, of all those Niçois who are in suffering, in mourning. It sounds ridiculous, of course, but it’s our job, and we also wanted to represent the club’s colors. This drama affects us all. The country is in mourning. But you have to stay upright ”, said Patrick Vieira the Nice coach after the meeting. In tribute to the victims of this attack, the two teams observed a minute of silence before kick-off.

Despite the circumstances and an empty stadium, a good European match was held. And some Nice people are no strangers to it. Such Youcef Atal, who regained his ardor and quickly demonstrated it. Even if the Gym controlled the meeting, with more than 65% of ball possession, his team could not destabilize the opponent. The Algerian international therefore insisted on his side. Following his overflow, Atal offered a caviar to Amine Gouiri, whose recovery of the flat of the right foot, however little supported, beat the Israeli goalkeeper Ohad Levita (1-0, 23e).

Scorer for the second time in two European Cup matches, the ex-prodigy of the Olympique Lyonnais academy is no longer a revelation. He gradually established himself as the leader of the Aiglons attack.

While Nice was superior to Beer-Sheva the entire first half, it took the vigilance of Walter Benitez to keep his goal going until the break. The Nice goalkeeper first came out with courage in the feet of Or Dadia (37e) before deflecting a shot from Joshua, ideally served back at the penalty spot by Dadia (45e).

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Four-way tie at the top of the group

After the break, the winner of the Israel Cup changed his strategy, more offensive. But despite greater pressure in the Nice camp, only a center shot over the crossbar really worried Benitez (56e). The Gym was scared to the end. Blame it on the inability of Gouiri, a badly made head (67e), then Kasper Dolberg who lost his tête-à-tête with Levita (75e) to take off. But the defense held on.

In the standings, Nice comes back to the height of its evening opponent. Reduced to ten from 22e Leverkusen fell 1-0 in Prague to Slavia in the other group game. The four teams are tied, with 3 points each.

Now, the Rouge et Noir, symbol of a bruised city, have the opportunity to get closer to a qualification with a double confrontation against Slavia Prague, the same opponent as 23 years ago in the round of 16 of the Cup Europe Cup winners.

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Lille has come a long way

Lille and Boukary Soumare were able to come back to Celtic Glasgow after being down 2-0 on Thursday at the Pierre Mauroy stadium.

A week after a convincing success in Prague (4-1), Lille for its part snatched the draw (2-2) at home against Celtic Glasgow after being led 2-0 at half-time.

From the start, however, Losc confiscated the ball and obtained the first chances. But little by little, the Celtic got their head out of the water and took the upper hand physically. After a goal refused for offside to Albian Ajeti (20e), the Scottish club ended up opening the scoring on a big Lille error. Zeki Celik pushed the ball too far, Ajeti recovered it to launch Elyounoussi, whose curled strike ended in the small net of Mike Maignan (0-1, 28e).

A few minutes later, the Norwegian striker did it again after a school action: Ajeti shifted the right side Jeremie Frimpong, whose center back was taken from an unstoppable flat foot by Elyounoussi (0-2 , 33e).

Stunned, the Losc tried to react quickly and had the opportunity to reduce the gap on a penalty obtained by Jonathan David. The Canadian, very clumsy since the start of the season, stumbled over goalkeeper Bain full axis and therefore failed to score his first goal with the Mastiffs (41e). In the process, after a ball released by Bain on a free kick from Yazici, Sven Botman found the crossbar (43e).

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“France is bruised”

After the break, Lille pushed to try to restart the game and, shortly after the hour mark, finally managed to come back to the score thanks to Celik, who took over at the far post a corner from his compatriot Yazici (1-2 , 67e). Le Losc continued its momentum against a Celtic more and more physically struggling and was quick to equalize by Ikoné, whose pivot shot was deflected by an opposing defender (2-2, 75e). Despite a one-sided end to the game, Lille, co-leaders of L1 and still undefeated this season in all competitions, have failed to snatch victory and must be content with a draw.

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After the match, Lille coach Christophe Galtier appeared very affected during his press conference by the Nice attack in the morning.

“France is bruised … France is bruised”, he said. “Believe me it’s been a tough day on a personal level. And if I had been able to abstain from working, I would have done it ”, he added, his voice shaking.

The Northerners are now second in Group H with 4 points, two lengths from AC Milan, which they will challenge next week at San Siro and which easily beat Sparta Prague on Thursday (3-0).

The World with AFP


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