After a long drought at home, Nice revived with a victory against Rennes (2-1), Saturday afternoon, a success which slows down the Bretons in the race for Europe after 34 days of Ligue 1.
Rennes had the opportunity to come back to within two points of 4th, Monaco, in the event of victory at the Allianz Riviera. Instead, Bruno Genesio’s men, who failed to score first during their time of dominance, left the Côte d’Azur disappointed.
It will now be difficult for them to hope to compete next season in the Europa League (reserved for the 4th in the Championship), or even the Europa League Conference, which the 5th in L1 will inherit.
After five consecutive matches without winning at home (three draws, two defeats), Nice, 51 points, goes back to 8th place, but too far from Europe.
The Aiglons will nevertheless be satisfied to have finally returned to victory at home, a first since February 10 against Ajaccio (3-0).
Applied, the Niçois did not go on board against a fast Rennes team. And the strategy put in place by Didier Digard paid off, because the Bretons did not create any great danger at the start of the match. Jérémy Doku hit Kasper Schmeichel (16th), Amine Gouiri saw his attempt deflected for a corner (30th), and Lovro Majer, his header kicked out by the Nice goalkeeper (41st).
Laborde-Moffi, winning duo
As the rare Nice counterattacks were badly negotiated (missed pass from Gaëtan Laborde, 33rd, and Terem Moffi, 39th), Nice returned to the break without having framed a shot. It all came together in the second half.
For his 500th match in L1, Steve Mandanda had spent a quiet first period. He lost on the first Nice opportunity in the second half.
On a cross from Badredine Bouanani, 18 years old and full of technical mastery, Laborde threw himself to score his 12th goal in L1, without really celebrating because two of them were registered at the start of the season under the colors of Rennes (1 -0, 50th).
Nice was then able to let their opponent come more and strike in counter-attack. On a Rennes corner headed by Jordan Lotomba, Bouanani launched Moffi who took advantage of Arthur Theate’s bad back pass for Mandanda. The ex-Loriantais grilled everyone and scored his 17th goal of the season, the 5th with Nice (2-0, 72nd).
Despite this blow, Benjamin Bourigeaud rounded up his people. He took action with a sublime strike from the right of the entrance to the surface in the top corner (2-1, 78th). But it was too late…