Brest on the podium, Nantes crucified, Toulouse resurrected

Brestois’ delight, a solid 3rd in Ligue 1.

Day 18 of Ligue 1 on Sunday had three matches on the multiplex programme. Brest, Toulouse and Clermont defeated Montpellier, Metz and Nantes.

Brest, a surprise guest on the podium

Who would have imagined Stade Brestois on the Ligue 1 podium after more than half a match? Probably not even the main interested parties, who nevertheless covered Montpellier this Sunday (2-0). In Finistère, MHSC never really believed in it, blown away by the enthusiasm of the locals (26 shots, 9 on target). Steve Mouney thought he had led his side but early in the action (22nd) his goal was disallowed for offside.

We had to wait for inspiration from Mahdi Kamara and Hugo Magneti’s precision in the area to unlock the score (48th, 1-0). Matthias Pereira Legge (60th) and Jeremy Le Douron (68th) were unable to finish the match straight away. We had to wait for extra time and the rediscovered reality of Le Douron, pure Brestois, to end the suspense (90th + 2, 2-0). The Breton club are now one point ahead of Monaco, in fourth place, and one point behind Nice, who are runners-up to PSG. Montpellier is stuck in a soft underbelly in 12th place.

Clermont Rebellion in Nantes

The residents of Nantes ended 2023 badly with three consecutive defeats in the league. They didn’t start 2024 much better, bottom of the league, losing to Clermont, La Beaujoire (1-2). In a fast-paced match, Shamar Nicholson struck first from six meters to avenge Auvergne’s good start (30th, 0-1). Florent Mollet scored straight after leaving the locker room (47th, 1-1), well served by Benny Traore.

The Ivorian, for his first steps in Ligue 1, often set Nantes’ game on fire. But he went from hot to cold after an unruly gesture, the only one on Habib Keita that logically earned him a red card (73rd). Nantes then exposed themselves until a penalty managed by Jim Alevinah (89th). Clermont’s bravery earned Pascal Gastion’s men a third win in 18 matches this season, relinquishing the Dunes’ cap to Lorient at the top of the standings. Nantes, 13th, is just four points ahead of Clermont.

Metz sinks, Toulouse rises

Is Lazlo Bölöni’s seat worth eviction? His Metz team conceded a fifth consecutive defeat in the league, at home to Toulouse who were in a poor position (0-1). Vincent Ciero quickly put the Violets ahead with a composure from the penalty spot (12th, 0-1). Stung, Metz responded by finding the ghost, Georges Mikoutadze, the foremost holder. The Georgian, like his partners, proved powerless.

Christoph Harrell’s dismissal for a late tackle on Thijs Dalinga heading towards goal (72nd) seemed to be the death knell for Metz’s hopes. Toulouse, however, wobbled again after Ismail Traore’s header hit the bar, before Mikoutadze headed in Guillaume Rests from close range (78th). A final thriller before TFC managed to end the match to get out of the red zone. Toulouse are 14th, one point ahead of Metz, 16th, who take a virtual play-off spot up for grabs.

(TagsToTranslate)FC Nantes

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