Nantes leave it late
Last Updated: 30/08/14 9:52pm
Serge Gakpe's second-half goal made all the difference as Nantes returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Montpellier at Louis Fonteneau on Saturday night.
Michel der Zakarian's side suffered their first Ligue 1 defeat of the season to Monaco last weekend but were back on track thanks to Togo striker Gakpe's 78th-minute strike which earned his side maximum points.
The win moved the home side up to seventh while Rolland Courbis' Montpellier dropped down three places to ninth as the Canaries halted their two-match winning run.
The hosts had the better chances of the opening half and came close to scoring an opener just six minutes in but goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren made a decent save to keep out Etey Shechter's effort just inside the 18-yard box.
Midway through the opening period, Shechter picked out Yacine Bammou, who struck a powerful effort with his left foot but he too was denied by Jourdren.
The 28-year-old stopper was called into action again deep in to the first half but he was in great form as he first pulled off an excellent save to keep out Shechter's dangerous shot before Vincent Bessat was denied on the stroke of half-time.
Two minutes after the break the away side had their first real chance of note as Anthony Mounier freed Paul Lasne on the right, who raced to the centre of the Nantes goal, but his shot sailed inches over the crossbar.
The home side put the pressure on again as the match approached the hour mark as Bessat delivered a good ball toward Shechter, who controlled it well and beat an oncoming defender before shooting from the right of the box - but Jourdren was again on hand to keep the scores level.
But Nantes' goal arrived inside the final 15 minutes as Gakpe picked up Bammou's cross from the right and sent the ball home with a drilled close-range effort from the centre of the box to claim all three points.