Five wins and two losses, facing the Kielce leaders and Barcelona. This is the Nantes record halfway through the group stage in the Champions League. Grégory Cojean’s players hit hard to conclude the first leg by winning in Aalborg (35-32), finalist of the 2021 edition. Facing the new club of Mikkel Hansen, ex-star of Paris-Saint-Germain, the H led the whole game, launched by Viktor Halgrimsson.
The young Icelandic goalkeeper made three consecutive saves, including a “pastis”, in five minutes to let Kauldi Odriozola make a first break (4-1, 6th). A small mattress in advance kept throughout a very offensive first half (20-17, 30th). Untenable, Thibaud Briet, Valero Rivera and Alexandre Cavalcanti tormented the Danish defense with 20 goals between them.
Nantes resists the Danish revolt
Grégory Cojean and his players then suffered the revolt of Aalborg when they returned from the locker room. Excluded for two minutes for a big foul on Lukas Sanden, Jorge Maqueda watched from the bench as the Danish club returned to two small goals (27-29, 44th), carried by left winger Sebastian Barthold (7 goals).
But a salutary interception from Cavalcanti, concluded on the counter-attack by Baptiste Dramatin, then a seven-meter throw from Rivera restored order to the H to approach with a four-goal lead in the last ten minutes perfectly controlled. Third in Group B, with the same number of points as Kielce, second, Nantes will find Aalborg next Thursday in Loire-Atlantique (8:45 p.m.). Rivera’s teammates can continue to dream of a direct qualification for the quarter-finals, reserved for the first two of their group.