One word and FC Nantes lovers will once again embrace their greatest memories. “Juventus”spoken and shown by former Hungarian international Zoltan Gera, responsible for the Europa League play-off draw this Monday, refers to the biggest match in the history of the Yellow House. A semi-final second leg of the Champions League, won by dominating the future winner of the competition (3-2) in a Beaujoire stadium filled with 35,800 spectators in a trance. Unforgettable emotions, and a reason for hope in view of this 16th final of C3, 26 years later.
A victory of the game, first of all, forgetting the dictatorship of the result. “Nantes style”, according to the established formula. Almost doomed after the defeat (2-0) in Piedmont two weeks earlier – marked by contentious arbitration, six cards including a red one for Bruno Carotti just before the break and goals from Gianluca Vialli and Vladimir Jugovic -, the men of Coco Suaudeau played without restraint at home. And almost worried the Old Lady.
Capron, N’Doram and Renou in the promised land
However, the Italians counted up to three goals in advance, on aggregate, after the opening of the score of Vialli (0-1, 17th). In finesse, from an outside of the right after a control of the chest in full surface. The yellow and green striker Nicolas Ouédec is injured and leaves (39th), but the force of creation of the 4-3-1-2 Nantes disrupts Juventus, until the angry head of Eddy Capron on a corner (1-1, 44th). You still have to score three times, so nobody thinks about qualifying.
Even less after the recovery, when Paulo Sousa escapes full axis, on a marvelous launch from Vialli, and deceives Dominique Casagrande from the right (1-2, 50th). Hope will return thanks to a missile from the outside of the left foot, sent by number 10 Japhet N’Doram – yet uncertain before the meeting -, with the help of the post (2-2, 69th). Claude Makélélé, Benoît Cauet, Éric Decroix… The entire workforce will push to the end to achieve a legendary success, on a strike from the left of incoming Franck Renou (3-2, 82nd).
Party in an indescribable celebration, the public of Beaujoire would almost laugh at the two goals that remain to be scored to aim for the final. The essential is not there. On the morning of April 18, The Title Team “Nantes for honor”. Next February 16 in Turin, then February 23 in Loire-Atlantique, the Canaries will aim better.