As it turns out, too, the red card wasn’t the only punishment, with Moses Simon stepping up to the free-kick, before curling a stunning pinpoint effort into the top left corner, making it 1-0 with 17 minutes gone. It could have been two before the break, and but for Predrag Rajković save to deny Ludovic Blas’ lob, it would have been. Down to 10 men and a goal down, having won just two away Ligue 1 games all season, the odds were increasingly stacked against Reims at HT.
Even with the odds against them, though, the visitors came out fighting in the second period, soon leading to a goalscoring chance of their own, with Wout Faes’ header from the set piece forcing Alban Lafont into a fine diving save. For all of their fight, the reduced Reims side just could not find a knockout blow, however, as Nantes gradually regained control on proceedings. As the half progressed, the hosts looked more and more likely to win just their second game against Reims in the last eight meetings.
Even when Reims manager Óscar García attempted to change things with the introduction of the like of Martin Adeline and Fraser Hornby, the visitors failed to find the equaliser, leaving them 14th in Ligue 1, and Nantes as high as eighth – just two points away from the top five.