Stade du Ray, Nice.
17 August 2013.
Following some unpleasant incidents during last season’s closing home fixture against Lyon, OGC Nice had been ordered to play their first home game of the new season against Stade Rennais behind closed doors. Reeling from the disastrous visit to Lyon, les Aiglons had to make do and bounce back from last week’s defeat, regardless of the absence of the supporters.
The atmosphere was expectedly lifeless in the stadium. It was even below par with that of a friendly match, yet the players did brilliantly and secured a 2-1 victory with fans’ favourite Dario Cvitanich finding the net on his return from suspension. Although the winning goal, scored by Jérémy Pied, was the result of a costly defensive error from Rennes, the team’s performance in itself is worthy enough of maximum points that day. Convincing and commanding, there was no better way to prepare for the UEFA Europa League play-off against Apollon Limassol in Cyprus this coming Thursday.
A solid win, and three points in the bag.
Matchday 2: OGC Nice 2-1 Stade Rennais, 12th.