Heroic, FC Nantes stands up to Juventus

A draw which is worth a victory for Ludovic Blas and Nantes. FRAME BERTORELLO /…

Heroic, FC Nantes stands up to Juventus

Heroic, FC Nantes stands up to Juventus

A draw which is worth a victory for Ludovic Blas and Nantes. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Big blow from the Canaries who bring back the draw from Turin this Thursday (1-1), in the first leg of the Europa League.

Juventus Torino – Nantes 1-1
Juventus Torino : Vlahovic (13e)
Nantes : Blas (60e)

Nantes can believe it! Opposed to Juventus Turin in the Europa League play-offs, the Canaries created a sensation by hanging a parity score in Piedmont (1-1). Antoine Kombouaré’s men have however taken a very bad start in this poster oh so unbalanced on paper. The FCN, organized in a cautious 5-3-2, had to quickly give in to the Turin armada, led by an untenable Di Maria. The former Parisian, omnipresent in the game and dangerous on long shots (3e28e), is behind the opener, signed Vlahovic (1-0, 13e). Punished from the start by an Old Lady while in control, the FCN did not deserve and tried to react, without however creating the slightest notable opportunity in the first period.

Nantes, the backlash

The meeting finally changed on the hour mark. While Juventus was managing the debates after the break, Nantes calmed down the Allianz Stadium by equalizing after a smoothly led counter, and brilliantly concluded by Blas (1- 1.60e). The intensity clearly went up a notch after this unexpected goal. Trapped, Juventus Turin immediately reacted but Chiesa (62e) and Di Maria (66e) found the amounts, while the Canaries, invigorated, badly negotiated good counter situations (80e84e). At the end of a tense end to the match, marked by two final chances in Turin (90e+1.90e+4), Nantes turned their backs and managed to preserve the draw. The return match, scheduled for next Thursday, promises to be hot at La Beaujoire, the hypothetical theater of a huge feat.

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