Delort and Laborde unravel Nice

Montpellier beat Patrick Vieira's team 3-1 with a memorable performance by the pair of strikers, who were undetectable for Nice.


Nice were unable to continue their hot run of results and conceded their first loss in Ligue 1 on the always difficult field of Montpellier. A great performance by the Delort-Laborde duo, coupled with a Congré double in the second half, were enough to give Der Zakarian's first win of the season.

The great news at the start of the match was Rony Lopes' debut as a starter in the visitors. The Portuguese, who came from a season without hardly having had opportunities at Sevilla, had a golden opportunity to claim himself in Ligue 1. Youcef Atal also returned to the starting position after having tested positive for coronavirus several weeks ago.

El Nice was a shadow of what had been the first two days. Having possession of the ball does not mean dominating and Montpellier attacked the ins and outs of Patrick Vieira's. First, with a 5-3-2 that was a spider web for "Les Aiglons" and, later, with a vertical game prioritizing going through the lanes to attack the back of the Nice sides.

The wave of attacks by Montpellier had two protagonists: Andy Delort and Gaëtan Laborde. Perhaps we are facing one of the best forward pairs of the last five years in Ligue 1. They play by heart, complement each other in each action and turn a second play into an occasion without apparent danger. Proof of this is that all his team's chances in the first half came from his boots, including the first goal, in an assist from Delort after a good cross from Souquet on the right wing that Laborde took advantage of to score at pleasure. They were ten minutes of local dominance, forcing Walter Benítez to make several worthwhile stops so that the result at halftime was not greater.

The second half was practically a monologue of the first. Montpellier once again took the initiative and Nice continued to show many weaknesses in defense. In fact, Michel Der Zakarian's team had several very dangerous occasions, solved by an omnipresent Walter Benítez who avoided one of the goals of the season in Ligue 1.

At the local insistence, the goals did not take long to arrive and with the same protagonist. Daniel Congré drew on a beautifully made center from Téji Savanier to make it 2-0 on the scoreboard. The former Toulouse player signed his double minutes later, taking advantage of a rebound from a Delort shot in another set piece that was thrown precisely by Savanier. Vieira brought Gouiri in to try to correct a situation that seemed untenable.

Nice's best minutes were seen with Gouiri. The Lyon youth squad is an exquisite player with excellent ball handling and Dante's goal was born from his boots, after a magnificent lateral cross that the Brazilian took advantage of to score with a header. However, Montpellier further strengthened the midfield to prevent the Vieira team from coming back and the result did not move again until the end.

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