At this stage of the competition, there are often “big” names that start to fall. The 16th finals of the Coupe de France 2021-2022 were no exception to the “rule”. Some of the Ligue 1 clubs (the first division of the national football elite), which had entered the competition in the previous round, saw the adventure come to an end on Sunday January 2.
Bastia and Nancy leave Clermont and Rennes
These are two Ligue 2 clubs, Bastia and Nancy which created the surprise. Two clubs which however, in the championship, are not in the most comfortable situation: Nancy is the red lantern of the second division championship, and Bastia is relegated.
However, at home, the Corsicans were more enterprising than their opponents of the day, Clermont, rival of the upper level. They won 2-0. At the break, the Clermontois had not had the slightest clear opportunity, with a single strike, off target.
For Nancy, everything was decided against Rennes, 4e of Ligue 1, during a penalty shootout. The Rennais had opened the scoring in the 58e minute, but Lorraine came back tied twenty minutes later. ” This match should have been finished at half time, it is not acceptable. This game should never have gone to penalties,” regretted Stade Rennes coach Bruno Genesio. During the penalty shootout, it was Baptiste Valette, the Nancy goalkeeper, who, with three saves (4 pens to 3) allowed his team to qualify.
“In the Cup, when a small one faces a big one, you need a good goalkeeper, success, a little clumsiness on the part of the opponent and when you have an opportunity, put it in the back. That’s what we got! It is not logical given the content of the match, but we take it”, savored Benoît Pedretti, the Nancy coach who announced a few days ago that he was going to leave his place on the bench. It remains for the leaders of Lorraine to find him a successor.
No miracle for Bordeaux in Brest
There was no miracle. Bordeaux, seriously diminished by the multiplication of Covid-19 cases in its ranks (twenty-one players affected), was eliminated by Brest (3-0). The Girondins had made the trip to Finistère with only seven of their usual professional players and thirteen young people.
Bordeaux conceded a penalty in the 35the minute: his young defender Tijany Atallah, 18 years old and not a single minute disputed with the professionals, intervened late in the area on Romain Faivre. A second penalty, conceded at 81e minute, came to destroy any hope of a return to the score of the Bordelais, the Brestois definitively sinking the corner by scoring a third goal at the very end of the match (90e+4).
“It’s a positive game overall. Unfortunately, we conceded some silly penalties,” nevertheless tried to positively reflect Bordeaux coach Vladimir Petkovic, while emphasizing that“there was a noticeable physical difference” for its young players.
In recent days, the club’s management had tried in vain to postpone this meeting, but the French Football Federation (FFF), organizer of the competition, was inflexible.
To avoid any package from Bordeaux or another club affected by Covid-19, the FFF had however relaxed its rules on Friday by exceptionally suspending the article requiring the presence “on the match sheet of at least seven players who took part in one of the last two official matches played by [l’]first team »thus allowing a club to draw more widely from its reserve team and its youth teams.
Fear for Reims, but not for Saint-Etienne
the Reims Stadium, reduced to ten, came close to humiliation against fans from Thaon-les-Vosges (National 3, the fifth division). But the goal at the last minute (1-0, 90e+3) from his English striker Fraser Hornby allowed him not to inflict a hazardous penalty shootout.
Saint Etiennelast in Ligue 1, logically qualified by winning 4 goals to 1 at Louhans (Saône-et-Loire) against Jura Sud, 13th in National 2 (fourth division) after a match marked by incidents in the stands, provoked by the Saint-Etienne supporters.
Marseille and Nantes without shaking
L’Olympic Marseille has, for his part, perfectly mastered his subject. An early acrobatic recovery by Arkadiusz Milik (29e) against the amateurs of Chauvigny (National 3), outclassed 3-0 by OM, avoided the Marseillais, released by a goal from Cengiz Ünder (41e) then Amine Harit (80e), an agonizing scenario.
“For us, it was already a dream to get here. », explained Naissim Ayadi, the Chauvigny midfielder. ” I hope everyone has eaten their teeth into this 16e of final. The strongest team won but I have no regrets, ”he calmly analyzed.
the FC Nantes, another Ligue 1 club, did not shake too much either. At home, against Vitré, a club playing in National 2, the Canaries dominated the match and ensured their qualification by winning 2-0. They only opened the scoring at the 25the minute, before finally getting out of reach at the 68e minute. “It’s a deserved qualification but which took time to take shape, recognized Antoine Kombouaré the Nantes coach. We weren’t able to score faster and make the score worse. Vitré knew how to make the suspense last. At the slightest relaxation, we could have been punished”.
Montpellier dismisses Strasbourg
Semi-finalist of the Coupe de France last season, Montpellier won 1-0 against Strasbourg. The Montpellier residents scored thanks to their defender Mihailo Ristic with a powerful shot from 25 meters. Strasbourg thus stumbles for the second time in a row against Montpellier: in January 2021, the Alsatian team fell at La Meinau (2-0) from the 32e of final.
Two “little thumbs” still in the race
There are only two teams from the fourth division (National 2) qualified for the round of 16: Bergeracpassed on penalties (0-0, 5-4 pens) against Créteil (National 1), and Versailles, wide winner (4-0) of La Roche Vendée (National 3). They will be the only two “small thumbs” of the next round, unless an exploit of Vannes (National 2) which welcomes Paris-Saint-Germain on Monday.
Quevilly-Rouen (League 2) – monaco (League 1): 1-3
Cannes (National 3) – Toulouse (League 2): 0-1
Linas-Montlhéry (National 3) – Amiens (League 2): 3-3 (3-4 pens)