Nantes brings down Lens, Toulouse mercilessly against Rodez

The Canaries winners of RC Lens. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

The Canaries and the Toulouse qualified for the last four of the Coupe de France, respectively leaving the Lens (2-1) and the Ruthénois (6-1).

Delort carries Nantes against Lens

Despite behind closed doors, Nantes gave themselves a new thrill by eliminating Lens on Wednesday thanks to a double from Andy Delort from the penalty spot to slip into the semi-finals of the Coupe de France. The Lensois had however opened the scoring by Seko Fofana (28th), but their former teammate Ignatius Ganago obtained two penalties, converted by Delort (31st and 57th) for his first goals in the Nantes jersey.

In the depths of the Ligue 1 classification, the defending champions, just eliminated by Juventus Turin in the Europa League, have shown that they do not want to be content with fighting to maintain the league at the end of the season. The Lensois, victims of their technical waste and their lack of success in attack, will be able to focus on the fight for European places. Just off the podium, they are still in the race for the Champions League, provided they set the sights quickly, from Saturday during the derby against Lille.

In a hopelessly empty stadium due to a sanction for the use of smoke bombs in the final won by Nantes in May 2022 at the Stade de France, the minute of applause in memory of Just Fontaine rang very hollow. And it is in the discretion that the two clubs gave Doctors Without Borders a check for 13,000 euros, the fruit of the auction of the jerseys of the victory of Lens (3-1) ten days ago in Ligue 1. They were flocked with the name of Chloé, Ganago’s daughter who died in mid-February at the age of 5.

In a disputed start to the match from the first minute, Lensois and Nantais went blow for blow. To a powerful strike from Delort just above the bar of Jean-Louis Leca (7th), Lens responded with a strike from Julien Le Cardinal in the arms of Rémy Descamps (8th). Then a reflex parade from Descamps against David Pereira Da Costa served alone from six meters (13th) preceded another in two stages from Leca on a diving header from Ganago (16th).

In this game, Lens found the flaw on a cross from Le Cardinal that Andrei Girotto, struggling with Openda, set back at the feet of Fofana, who arrived launched (0-1, 28th). But almost on the throw-in, Nantes obtained a penalty when Le Cardinal hooked Ganago in his area. In the transformation, Delort did not tremble (1-1, 31st).

The intensity of the comings and goings ended up decreasing, to the rhythm of missed passes and bad choices. And if the Lensois took the upper hand after returning from the locker room, but with still too much technical waste, the Nantes residents went ahead on a counter after which Leca mowed down Ganago. Again, Delort transformed the penalty into power, even if the Lensois goalkeeper dove on the right side (2-1, 57th). The Lensois then further increased the pressure, but the Nantes defense held on, willy-nilly, as illustrated by the rescue of Mollet on a recovery from Florian Sotoca (70th). Even the post intervened to repel a strike from Angelo Fulgini (86th).

The TFC atomizes the red lantern of L2

Toulouse, on track to stay in Ligue 1, continues its journey in the Coupe de France, of which it reached the last four thanks to its card Wednesday in a sold-out Stadium against its Occitan neighbor Rodez (6-1), red lantern of Ligue 2. An offensive festival in the form of a tribute to Just Fontaine, to which a poignant minute of applause was devoted before the meeting, in the city where he died at the age of 89.

The record holder for the number of goals scored in a single World Cup (13), of which a stadium stand bears the name, was at the end of the 1970s coach of US Toulouse, ancestor of the TFC. He would probably not have denied Toulouse’s fiery attack, which immediately killed all suspense in this Occitanie derby with three goals in the space of five minutes by Zakaria Aboukhlal (5), Branco Van den Boomen (8) and Thijs Dallinga (10).

The Aveyron defense, desperate on each opposing acceleration, conceded two more in the first half, scored by the “pitchoun” Fares Chaibi (21) and the Chilean Gabriel Suazo (38) – his first since his arrival in Toulouse in the winter transfer window – with a superb recovery. Toulouse coach Philippe Montanier even offered himself the luxury of preparing for the reception of Clermont on Sunday in L1 by bringing out two of his executives at the break, Dutch playmaker Van den Boomen and Danish right-back Mikkel Desler.

That did not prevent his team from adding to the bill in the second act, with a penalty converted by Dallinga (51), author of ten goals in all competitions since the start of 2023. Rodez, thanks to a beautiful strike from Wilitty Younoussa, will have at least saved the honor (69). With this quiet qualification for the semi-finals, Téfécé equals its best result in the Coupe de France (1985 and 2009) and will have the opportunity to spice up the end of its season while its maintenance in L1, with more than ten points. advance on the relegation zone, is almost certain.

The adventure ends there, however, for the Ruthenians after having knocked down two L1 clubs away from home, Monaco on penalties (2-2, 5-4) in the 32nd final and Auxerre (3- 2) in the round of 16. They will now be able to fully concentrate on their main objective: maintaining L2.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *