Alassane Pléa scored twice as OGC Nice beat Vitesse Arnhem 3-0 in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, but Lyon were held and Marseille lost in Austria.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
UEFA Europa League Matchday 2, Group E
Groupama Stadium, Lyon
Olympique Lyonnais 1 – 1 Atalanta
Lyon took the lead in their opening Group E game only to concede an equaliser and draw 1-1 away to Apollon Limassol. The scenario repeated itself here at the Groupama Stadium, with Lyon unable to hold on to the advantage given to them by Bertrand Traoré just before half-time.
Mariano Díaz had an effort well saved by Etrit Berisha early on while Atalanta should have been in front themselves, but Dutch full-back Hans Hateboer somehow missed the target with his header right in front of goal at the back post.
Traoré then got the opener, smashing in the rebound after his initial effort, a sumptuous back-heel flick from Nabil Fekir’s cross, was saved by Berisha (45′).
However, Atalanta drew level before the hour mark as their captain Alejandro Gómez saw his free-kick go through the Lyon wall to beat Anthony Lopes (57′).
Atalanta top the group with four points, two points ahead of Lyon who face bottom side Everton next in England. It is just one win in seven matches in all competitions now for Bruno Genesio’s men.
Stadion Salzburg, Salzburg
RB Salzburg 1 – 0 Olympique de Marseille
Marseille’s recent revival that had seen them win three games in a row in all competitions without conceding a goal was put to the test as they travelled to face the Austrian champions in Group I.
Coach Rudi Garcia made seven changes to his side following the weekend victory against Toulouse FC but those who came in did not manage to make a big enough impression as OM struggled to create clear-cut chances at a venue where Nice won last season, and were eventually undone in the 73rd minute.
Stefan Lainer made a brilliant overlapping run on the right before cutting the ball back for Israeli striker Munas Dabbur to fire home first time.
Greek international Kostas Mitroglou came on for his OM debut late on following his summer arrival from Benfica, but the visitors could not find an equaliser. They are now a point behind Salzburg, who top the group, and level on three points with Konyaspor, who defeated Vitória Guimarães 2-1 in Turkey.
Allianz Riviera, Nice
OGC Nice 3 – 0 Vitesse
Nice coach Lucien Favre named a strong side for the meeting with the Dutch Cup winners at the Allianz Riviera as Les Aiglons looked to build on their 5-1 win at Zulte-Waregem a fortnight ago.
Indeed the only change from the 2-2 draw with Angers SCO last weekend saw Jean Michaël Seri come in for Nampalys Mendy, and Nice went ahead inside 16 minutes. Dante headed down a corner and Pléa turned the ball in at the back post.
Saint-Maximin scores solo beauty
A moment of magic from Allan Saint-Maximin then saw Nice double their lead on the stroke of half-time, as the former AS Monaco man collected possession deep inside his own half before accelerating all the way to the Vitesse box and beating goalkeeper Remko Pasveer with a low finish into the far corner.
A powercut that knocked out the floodlights caused a hold-up of around a quarter of an hour early in the second half, but when the game restarted Nice put it to bed. Seri fired just wide before Pierre Lees-Melou fed Pléa, who played a one-two with Bassem Srarfi and beat Pasveer at his near post. Pléa now has four goals in two group games.
Nice complete the month of September unbeaten in five games, winning four, and can now look forward to a double-header with Lazio, who also have two wins from two in Group K.