FC Nantes – Montpellier HSC: set piece goal and counterattack decide tight Ligue 1 match (2-0)
Nantes dominated possession thanks to an early red card for Montpellier. This game however was ultimately decided by a counterattack and a set piece.
Tactical analysis by Chris Baker.
Nantes manager Vahid Halilhodžić made nine changes following an easy midweek cup victory over Chateauroux. Ciprian Tătăruşanu replaced Maxime Dupé in goal. Diego Carlos, Lucas Lima and Enock Kwateng returned to the side in Nantes’ 3-5-2 system with Fábio, Charles Traoré and Matt Miazga making way. Valentin Rongier and Andrei Girotto were brought back into the starting eleven in place of Imran Louza and Rene Krhin. Kalifa Coulibaly, Lucas Evangelista and Anthony Limbombe also dropped out of the team. In their place were Majeed Waris, Emiliano Sala and Abdoulaye Touré.
After a promising start to the season, Michel Der Zakarian’s Montpellier were without a win in three matches including a shock 1-0 defeat to Sannois in the Coupe De France. There were two changes to the team that lost just four days ago. Veteran Vitorino Hilton and Pedro Mendes returned in defense in Montpellier’s 3-5-2 / 3-4-1-2 base shape. Paul Lasne and Nicolas Cozza dropped out of the team.
The way Nantes tried to build up versus Montpellier’s 5-3-2
During the build-up, Nantes showed a possession-oriented approach in their own half. They looked to take advantage of the three-versus-thee superiority by passing the ball across the backline until their left and right center-back were afforded space to dribble up the pitch. This was aided by the fullbacks staying higher up the field in order to . . .