Home comforts for rampant Nice
Last Updated: 22/09/13 6:59pm
Dario Cvitanich celebrates his opener for Nice
Nice took no time at all to settle into their new home, producing a convincing 4-0 win over struggling Valenciennes at the brand new Allianz Riviera.
Claude Puel's men stretched their unbeaten run to five games in Ligue 1 thanks to first-half goals from Dario Cvitanich and Eric Bautheac, which were followed up by strikes from Christian Bruls and Alexy Bosetti to lift Nice into sixth place.
Defeat for goal-shy Valenciennes means they have now suffered five consecutive losses since their opening day win over Toulouse and they continue to languish in the bottom three.
The game began at a slow pace as the fans and players settled into new surroundings but Nice were gifted the perfect opportunity to open the scoring on the half-hour mark when referee Clement Turpin pointed at the spot after Benjamin Angoua had appeared to handle inside the area.
Cvitanich took charge of the resulting spot-kick and calmly sent Nicolas Penneteau the wrong way to put his name in the record books as the first-ever scorer in Nice's new stadium.
Valenciennes almost offered a reply seven minutes later following some neat build-up play.
Rudy Mater released Maor Melikson down the right and his inviting delivery was smashed just wide by Gregory Pujol on the half-volley.
Despite that effort, though, Penneteau was soon picking the ball out of his net under controversial circumstances as half-time approached.
Didier Digard and Fabrice Abriel combined before the latter fired across the goalmouth and Bautheac scrambled the ball home.
The Nice winger had, however, appeared to be offside.
Nice continued to dominate through the second half but Valenciennes thought they had clawed their way back into the game when Pujol beat David Ospina, but his effort was ruled out for offside in the 67th minute.
The hosts would add to their two-goal lead just a minute later.
Jordan Amavi saw his cross deflected by Lindsay Rose and, with Penneteau caught out, Bruls was left with the simple job of heading the ball into an empty net.
Not content with a three-goal lead, Nice pressed for a fourth and it came soon after in some style.
Digard was at the point of the attack and the former Middlesbrough midfielder picked out Bosetti in the area - the youngster beating Penneteau with a clever finish to bag his first ever Ligue 1 goal.
French Ligue 1
|2||Paris St Germain||10||18|
|17||Evian Thonon Gaillar||10||10|