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Revelation of the season in Nantes, Randal Kolo Muani saw the Bleuets leave without him for the Euro Espoirs, but his 10th goal of the season Thursday in Toulouse gave the Canaries the advantage (2-1) before the return jump-off on Sunday to stay in Ligue 1 (6:00 p.m.).
Goalkeeper Alban Lafont and the young striker were summoned but warned: if Nantes were a barrage, they could not play the knockout phase of Euro Espoirs which begins Monday with a quarter-final against the Netherlands.
They hoped to be able to join Les Bleuets for the rest of the adventure, but coach Sylvain Ripoll decided otherwise by summoning Etienne Green and Arnaud Kalimuendo in their place.
Something bitterly brooding for two young players who have not been unworthy throughout the catastrophic season of FC Nantes and are almost certain to leave this summer, regardless of the result of the dam.
“I am very disappointed to give up Euro Espoirs, but nothing is more important than helping FC Nantes to stay in Ligue 1. Withdrawal is not an option”, assured Lafont on the social networks.
Kolo Muani for his part responded on the pitch Thursday evening. Well helped by an untenable Ludovic Blas, he gave headaches to Toulouse defenders, with demonstrations of speed with or without the ball. And he was able to be opportunistic by taking a ball pushed back into his feet to give a precious advantage to his team shortly after the Toulouse equalizer.
At 22, he who was not part of the plans on his return after a year on loan at Boulogne (National) is now 10 goals and 9 assists for his first season in Ligue 1, of which almost half on the Last 5 matches.
“We had to show that our place is in Ligue 1 and that we want to stay there,” he explained Thursday evening.
But he missed the opportunity to drive the point home a quarter of an hour from the end. And Nantes now remains at the mercy of a start from Toulouse, the best attack in L2 with 71 goals in 38 matches.
Especially since the Canaries have not often shone at Beaujoire this season (8 defeats, 8 draws and 3 wins in L1).
Antoine Kombouaré therefore wished to warn his men: “The fact of having this tight score, that will warn us. I am super happy with this victory, but I am very very vigilant, because I know that in football this is never won in advance. You have to remain serious and humble, it can go very quickly “.
“We will have to play with the same desire on Sunday. I will give everything for the last match,” promised Kolo Muani, who will most likely wear the Canaries jersey for the last time.
Born 15 days before Kylian Mbappé in Bondy (Seine-Saint-Denis), the city where the Parisian star grew up, he arrived in Nantes at the age of 16. Despite the club’s attempts, he refused to extend his contract, which runs until the summer of 2022. According to several media, German or English clubs, but also French such as Lille and Lyon, are in the running …