Racers’ revival rattles careless Canaries

Adrien Thomasson’s late header ended Nantes’ three-match winning run at home in Ligue 1 as ten man Strasbourg held the ‘Canaries’ to a 2-2 draw.

Strasbourg came into the contest in fine goalscoring form away in the league, netting in eight of their previous nine on the road. Habib Diallo looked to get his side off the mark once more and his low shot was heading into the bottom corner before Alban Lafont acrobatically tipped the ball round the post. But Nantes, who had lost their previous three matches against the ‘Racers’ without scoring, battled back and their pressure paid off when Moses Simon produced his sixth assist of the season, driving into space on the left wing and whipping in a cross that Kalifa Coulibaly nodded in from close range.

The ‘Canaries’ remained on top, but they lost concentration right before HT as Diallo, who scored 12 of his previous 15 goals in the first half, was deadly again, as he found space in the area and composedly chipped the ball over Lafont.

Nantes responded immediately after the break and there was a sense of déjà vu when Simon sent in a deflected cross, but this time it was Randal Kolo Muani who towered above his marker and headered past Matz Sels. The visitors’ demise continued when Clément Turpin dismissed Ludovic Ajorque with a straight red card for a rash challenge on Fábio da Silva. Yet the visitors were not disheartened and instead, they equalised again with 20 minutes left as Frédéric Guilbert’s cross found Adrien Thomasson unmarked and the forward devoured his chance and headered powerfully into the roof of the net to salvage a point for his side.

Antoine Kombouaré’s side would have moved into the top five if they held out for a win, but their issues in defence continue as they have failed to keep a clean sheet in ten of their last 11 league games. Julien Stéphan will be delighted with his team’s ability to bounce back twice, although the ‘Racers’ remain in consistent form after winning just two of their last six.

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