OGC Nice – LOSC Lille: A Drab Affair Finishes In A Draw (1-1)
On a rainy night in Nice neither Christophe Galtier nor Patrick Vieira were able to coax the best out of their sides. The latter’s inability to harness a consistent buildup was on full display, as the home side’s 3-4-2-1 formation sputtered throughout the course of the evening. The same can be said for Lille, as France’s first placed side delivered an unremarkable performance – handing the top spot back to Paris Saint-Germain in the process.
Tactical analysis and match report by K.T. Stockwell.
Nice have managed to collect points this season, but have not always looked convincing. Manager Patrick Vieira’s side continues to rely heavily on the shot-stopping ability of their starting keeper, Walter Benítez, and remain in the bottom half of the league in terms of expected goals. Nice’s underwhelming play came to a head mid-week in the Europa League play where they lost 6-2 to a rampant Bayer Leverkusen side.
Despite the shellacking, Vieira made few changes to his side ahead of the clash with Lille. The former French international stuck with his 3-4-2-1 formation – fielding an unchanged center-back trio of Stanley N’Soki, Dante and Robson Bambu. Upfront, Vieira elected to rotate slightly: replacing Amine Gouiri with Rony Lopes, who along with Alexis Claude Maurice, flanked talisman Kasper Dolberg.
Conversely, Lille have been on an imperious run, bulldozing Sparta Prague 4-1 in their mid-week fixture. In the process adding to their impressive goal tally, which now stands at 11 over their last three matches. Manager Christophe Galtier seems to have found the winning formula for his side, who, with . . .