AS Nancy 1 Motherwell 0: Motherwell given French lesson but Smith spares blushes
Friday 19 September 2008
Motherwell can count themselves lucky to have escaped with such a narrow defeat in France, having been largely outplayed for much of the night and seeing a second-half penalty saved by their goalkeeper Graeme Smith.
The Scots found themselves under pressure from the off and Mark Reynolds was fortunate to escape punishment for catching Helder with a high boot as the Brazilian was about to burst into the box. Motherwell, playing a 4-5-1 formation with David Clarkson wide right, were struggling to mount attacks and Nancy posed questions from set-pieces. The visitors gave the ball away too cheaply and were grateful for Stephen Craigan's intervention as Mosef Zerka headed towards goal from 10 yards.
John Sutton cut an isolated figure up front as every long ball came straight back into the Motherwell half. They seemed to be weathering the storm but Nancy's possession eventually told in the 42nd minute. Jean Calve whipped in a cross from the right and Pascal Berenguer got in front of Keith Lasley to head into the far corner from the edge of the area. Smith comfortably held Zerka's ambitious attempted chip moments later.
Motherwell did break in the 61st minute and Clarkson had a penalty appeal rejected when Nancy substitute Issiar Dia appeared to brush his legs as he cut inside following Marc Fitzpatrick's ball. The French should have wrapped things up when Reynolds brought down Julien Feret in the area but Smith saved Dia's spot-kick.
AS Nancy: Bracigliano; Helder (Dia 56), Macaluso, Chretien, Ouaddou, Calve, Malonga Ntsayi (Fortune 56), Berenguer, Brison, Feret (N'Guemo 87), Zerka. Substitutes not used: Gregorini, Sami, Andre Luiz, Biancalani.
Motherwell: G Smith; Quinn, Craigan, Reynolds, Hammell, Malcolm (Smith 67), Lasley, Fitzpatrick, Hughes, Clarkson (Murphy 82), Sutton (Porter 67). Substitutes not used: Nielsen, Darren, O'Brien, McGarry, Connolly.
Referee: V Hrinak (Slovakia).
Latest in Sport
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now