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Sala hits brace in Nantes win

FC Nantes remain right in the hunt for European qualification after Emiliano Sala’s second-half brace secured a 2-0 derby win over Angers SCO on Sunday.

FC Nantes  2 – 0  Angers SCO

Argentine striker Sala opened the scoring at the Stade de la Beaujoire four minutes into the second period and struck again in the 69th minute to take his tally for the season to six goals and leave Les Canaris in the top six.

Nantes have lost just one of their last 16 Ligue 1 games and have taken four points and registered two clean sheets in two matches since last week’s 4-1 humbling at the hands of Stade Rennais FC.

Angers, in contrast, continue to endure a difficult 2016. Stéphane Moulin’s side have taken just two points from their last seven outings and suddenly find themselves looking over their shoulders, with the relegation zone only six points beneath them.

One-sided

The visitors welcomed back captain Cheikh Ndoye after suspension while Pierrick Capelle also came back in, but Angers failed to produce a single shot on target over the course of the afternoon.

Instead Nantes, who are on their best run of form at home in 11 years having not lost at La Beaujoire since November 1, dominated throughout, creating their first chance when Kolbeinn Sigþórsson’s free-kick forced Alexandre Letellier into a good early save.

Letellier also denied Adryan and then saved well from an Alejandro Bedoya volley after Sala had helped on a Wilfried Moimbé cross, and the last act of the first half saw the goalkeeper turn an Adryan free-kick over the bar.

The breakthrough came shortly after the restart, though. Adrien Thomasson, who had come on for the injured Adryan, won back in possession in midfield before Sala hurdled a challenge and curled a shot beyond Letellier.

The former Girondins de Bordeaux player then repeated the trick just past the midway point in the second period, controlling a Birama Touré pass and firing low past the goalkeeper at his near post as Nantes continue to look like dangerous outsiders in the race for European qualification.

>> Teamsheet

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