Tactical Analysis: FC Nantes 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain extended their lead at the top of the French Ligue 1 table to eleven points with a narrow 1-0 victory over FC Nantes at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

The visitors took the lead when Angel Di Maria was left completely unmarked inside the penalty area to conclude an impressive attacking move. Edison Cavani slotted the ball across the edge of the box, Mbappe slickly allowed the ball to advance to Di Maria, who made no mistake from close-range and poked his finish into the far bottom corner.

PSG should’ve doubled their advantage in the latter stages of the second half, when Angel Di Maria squandered a gaping close-range opportunity. It was another dazzling move from the Parisians, but the former Real Madrid and Manchester United winger was unable to reward his teammates for their supreme creativity.

Verratti ignited the attack by launching a low pass into the feet of Mbappe; Rabiot received the ball on the overlapping run and squared the ball to Di Maria at the back post. The Argentinian international lacked composure and blasted a simplistic chance over the crossbar from close-range.

FC Nantes improved significantly at the beginning of the second half and tested Paris Saint-Germain to the maximum of their ability. The hosts had two goal scoring openings in the second half due to their sheer tenacity and relentlessness to press the league leaders’ defensive line.

Diego Carlos glancing header looped narrowly wide of the far post from Dubois’ delivery from the left-hand side. The work ethic from FC Nantes’ players was admirable and PSG nearly gifted them an equaliser mid-way through the second half. Kurzawa’s poor back pass eluded Kimpembe, Sala pounced to latch onto the ball but Areola swiftly emerged from his goal line to make a pivotal intervention.

Les Parisians should’ve wrapped the game up in the latter stages of the second half with numerous opportunities in the final third. Di Maria missed another close-range opportunity, Mbappe forced a top class save from Nantes goalkeeper Tatarusanu and Rabiot struck the woodwork as they were unable to double their advantage. Sala also had a goal ruled out for offside when he was deemed to be marginally ahead of Edison Cavani.

Then, in the dying stages of the second half, we witnessed one of the most shocking incidents you’ll see in Europe all season. Referee Tony Chapron brandished a second yellow card for Diego Carlos, after the FC Nantes defender accidently bundled him over. Chapron went onto kick out at Carlos but struck with his decision, despite the boos ringing around the stadium.


Tactical Debrief

FC Nantes and Paris Saint-Germain played out an entertaining encounter on Sunday evening. It was an interested battle, which consisted of PSG donning their possession-based style and FC Nantes attempting to counter them with a high-pressing system.

Both teams have viable opportunities in the final third but the French Ligue 1 leaders ultimately merited all three points, despite the mass controversy in the latter stages of the second half. FC Nantes began the first half in high spirits and pressed Paris Saint-Germain effectively until the latter eventually took the lead via Angel Di Maria.

Di Maria’s opening goal took the sting out of FC Nantes’ relentless and tenacious approach to the game. Therefore, PSG went onto dictate possession and comfortably dominate play in the first half with FC Nantes struggling to create anything productive.

Claudio Ranieri rallied his troops for the second half and they came out with renewed ambition. Dubois was relentless in the opening stages of the second half and was highly influential in the final third for FC Nantes.

Sala was another who caused numerous issues for Paris Saint-Germain’s defence, which looked shaky at periods in the second half. They had a large period of promise in the second half and the Parisians were forced into various mistakes in possession.

However, Rabiot began to pull the strings in the midfield and they eventually stabilised themselves to grind out a deserved victory. It was a spirited performance from FC Nantes, who deserve credit for their efforts but Paris Saint-Germain proved too strong for their opponents yet again.

George Bennett

My name is George Bennett, I'm 19-years-old and I'm the founder and administrator for GB Articles Football Blog. I've been writing from the age of 12-years-old and decided to create my own blog to spread my passion for the beautiful game. The blog was created in May 2016 and I've began to assemble a talented group of writers since April 2017. I mainly cover the Premier League, although I also base some reports on the Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga and more!

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