Nicolas de Préville’s Girondins de Bordeaux hit the woodwork four times on a frustrating afternoon as they were held to a 0-0 draw by OGC Nice at the Matmut Atlantique on Sunday.
Girondins de Bordeaux 0 – 0 OGC Nice
Nice were returning to Ligue 1 Conforama action barely 48 hours after returning to France following their UEFA Europa League exit at the hands of Lokomotiv Moscow. Coach Lucien Favre made six changes to his line-up here, with Dante and leading scorer Mario Balotelli among the players to drop out.
Alassane Pléa led the attack in Balotelli’s absence, and he came close to getting an early opener, his shot flashing wide of the far post following Ihsan Sacko’s through ball (10′). Pléa was also centimetres away from connecting with an inviting Pierre Lees-Melou cross (31′), but Nice spent the rest of the afternoon defending, somehow escaping with a clean sheet and a point.
Bordeaux hit the woodwork for the first time in the 12th minute, Soualiho Meité’s shot coming back off the post before Walter Benítez showed great reactions to keep out Martin Braithwaite’s follow-up. Two minutes after that, De Préville saw his curling strike come back off the bar with Benítez beaten on a sunny afternoon in south-western France.
The second half was quiet before coming to life in the final quarter of an hour. While Nice offered little going forward, Pablo almost headed a Lees-Melou cross into his own net (79′), before the visitors survived a late onslaught.
Substitute Gaëtan Laborde missed the target after being played in by Youssouf Sabaly, before Baysse hit the post and De Préville smashed a shot against the bar in stoppage time. It was just not Bordeaux’s day, and Nice will be the happier team with the point, as both remain in the running for European qualification.
THE PLAYER: Nicolas de Préville
With Malcom missing due to suspension, De Préville was Bordeaux’s main threat in attack. But he was twice denied by the woodwork, while he had a second-half free-kick saved by Benítez. The former Lille striker proved his worth at the other end too, clearing off the line to stop Pablo scoring an own-goal.
THE STAT: 7
Nice have now gone seven games without a win in all competitions, with just two points taken from five Ligue 1 Conforama outings. They need to get back to winning ways quickly, with LOSC to visit the Allianz Riviera next weekend. An injection of experience would help – the average age of Nice’s starting line-up here was just 22. Captain Nampalys Mendy, who will be 26 in June, was their oldest player.