Alassane Pléa was on target as OGC Nice kick-started their season with a 2-0 win over EA Guingamp at the Allianz Riviera.
OGC Nice 2 – 0 EA Guingamp
Following their chastening 2-0 defeat to Napoli in Italy in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off in midweek, Nice coach Lucien Favre made several changes to his starting line-up for this home clash with the Bretons. Wesley Sneijder made his long awaited debut and Adrien Tameze made his first start for the club but it was a familiar face who put them in front.
After dominating the first period, Les Aiglons finally got the breakthrough right on the stroke of half-time. Rémi Walter played the ball back to Jean Michaël Seri who picked out Pléa in the box, the striker holding off Jordan Ikoko as he turned and fired home his second league goal of the campaign (45′).
Crucially Nice doubled their lead just after the restart, with Pléa again involved. He burst towards goal, cutting in from the left and forcing a save from Karl-Johan Johnsson. The ball came to Pierre Lees-Melou who headed the ball back towards goal and Walter turned it in for his first goal in Ligue 1 (47′).
Nice saw out the victory to take their first three points of the season after losing to AS Saint-Etienne and ESTAC Troyes on the opening two matchdays. Now Favre will hope they can turn things around against Napoli, when Mario Balotelli could start after coming off the bench in the 64th minute here for his first appearance of the Ligue 1 Conforama campaign. This was a second straight loss for Guingamp, beaten 3-0 at home by Paris Saint-Germain last weekend.
THE PLAYER: Wesley Sneijder
Guingamp were Neymar’s first Ligue 1 Conforama opponents last weekend and they were also the opposition for Sneijder’s first appearance in a Nice shirt. The Dutch star started and lasted 84 minutes before making way for Bassem Srarfi. Lucien Favre will now be hoping the former Galatasaray playmaker will be able to go again when Napoli come to the Allianz Riviera in midweek.
THE STAT: 6
This was a first win in six league games for Nice, who failed to win any of their final three matches last season before losing their opening two outings of this campaign