At this stage of the competition, there are often “big” names who start to fall. The round of 16 of the Coupe de France 2021-2022 was no exception to the “rule”. Some of the Ligue 1 clubs (the first division of the elite of national football), 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 league, 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 have shown themselves and entrepreneurs as their opponents of the day, Clermont rival of the upper echelon. They won 2-0. At the break, the Clermontois had not had the slightest frank opportunity, with a single strike, not on target.
For Nancy, everything was played against Rennes, 4e Ligue 1, during a penalty shootout. The Rennais had opened the scoring in the 58e minute, but the Lorrainers returned to equality twenty minutes later. ” This game should have been over at half-time, that’s not acceptable. This match should never have gone on penalties ”, regretted Stade Rennes coach Bruno Genesio. During the penalty shoot-out, it was Baptiste Valette, Nancy’s goalkeeper, who, with three saves (4 tab 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 bit of opposing clumsiness and when you have a chance, put it to the bottom. This is 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 a successor for him.
No miracle for Bordeaux in Brest
There was no miracle. Bordeaux, continued lessened by the multiplication of cases of Covid-19 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 youngsters.
Bordeaux conceded a penalty at the 35e minute: his young defender Tijany Atallah, 18 years old and not the slightest minute disputed with the professionals, is behind in the box 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 pushing the corner by registering a third but at the very end of the match (90e+4).
“It’s a positive game overall. Unfortunately we conceded a little stupid penalties ”, despite everything tried to positively influence Vladimir Petkovic coach of Bordeaux, while announcing that“There was a noticeable physical difference” for its young players.
In recent days, the club management had tried in vain to postpone this meeting, but the French Football Federation (FFF), organizer of the competition, has been inflexible.
To avoid any package from Bordeaux or from another club affected by Covid-19, the FFF however relaxed its regulations on Friday by suspending on an exceptional basis the article requiring the presence “On the scoresheet 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 of Thaon-les-Vosges (National 3, the fifth division). But the corn at the last minute (1-0, 90e+3) of his English striker Fraser Hornby allowed him not to inflict a risky shootout on goal.
Saint Etienne, last in Ligue 1, logically qualified by winning 4 goals to 1 in Louhans (Saône-et-Loire) against Jura Sud, 13th in National 2 (fourth division) after a match marked by incidents in stands, provoked by the Téphanois supporters.
Marseille and Nantes without a tremor
L’Olympic Marseille has, for his part, perfectly mastered his subject. An early acrobatic recovery from Arkadiusz Milik (29e) against the fans of Chauvigny (National 3), outclassed 3-0 by OM, avoided the Marseillais, released by a goal from Cengiz Ünder (41e) then Amine Harit (80e), a scary scenario.
“For us, it was already a dream to get here. “, explained Naissim Ayadi, the midfielder of Chauvigny. ” I hope everyone had a good time in this 16e 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 chose the match and ensured their qualification by winning 2-0. They only opened the scoring at the 25e minute, before going definitely out of range at 68e minute. “It is a deserved qualification but which took a long time to take shape, recognized Antoine Kombouaré the Nantes coach. We weren’t able to score faster and worsen the score. Vitré knew how to make the suspense last. At the slightest relaxation, we could have been punished ”.
Montpellier pushes aside 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 strike from 25 meters. Strasbourg thus stumbles for the second time in a row on Montpellier: in January 2021, the Alsatian team fell to La Meinau (2-0) from the 32e final.
Two “small thumbs” still in progress
There are only two teams from the fourth division (National 2) qualified for the round of 16: Bergerac, passed on penalties (0-0, 5-4 tab) against Créteil (National 1), and Versailles, big winner (4-0) of La Roche Vendée (National 3). They will be the only two “little thumbs” of the next round, unless Vannes (National 2) has a chance to host Paris-Saint-Germain on Monday.
Quevilly-Rouen (Ligue 2) – Monaco (Ligue 1): 1-3
Cannes (National 3) – Toulouse (Ligue 2): 0-1
Linas-Montlhéry (National 3) – Amiens (Ligue 2): 3-3 (3-4 tab)