Nantes glee with three points
Last Updated: 13/04/14 3:44pm
Nantes salute the fans after their victory
Nantes' faltering season was given a timely boost with a 1-0 Ligue 1 win over struggling Guingamp at La Beaujoire.
Serge Gakpe's early opener - his fourth goal of the season - was all the hosts needed to see of their lowly opponents and gave Michel Der Zakarian's mid-table side only their second win in 13 games.
Defeat for Guingamp left them perilously close to the drop zone, with just five points separating them from third-bottom Evian.
Nantes made the perfect start when they hit the hosts on the counter-attack and Veretout's delivery from the right was drilled home confidently by Gakpe to give Les Canaris an early foothold in the game.
The home team continued to do all the pressing early on and it looked like Itay Shechter might add a second when Guingamp goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa miscontrolled a back-pass, but the visiting shot-stopper recovered.
Nantes looked the most likely to score the second of the game as Johan Audel went close when his effort from the edge of the area took a touch off Christophe Kerbrat before ending up the wrong side of Samassa's post.
Shechter had a good opportunity to double the hosts' advantage just before the break but headed straight at Samassa after Veigneau had picked him out, and the one-goal lead remained at the interval.
The half-time break did little to stem the flow of attacks on the Guingamp goal and Shechter twice went close after escaping the visitors' defence, but Laurent dos Santos and Audel did well to get back and block both of the Israel international's efforts.
Der Zakarian's team were doing everything but score an elusive second and next it was Alejandro Bedoya who saw a shot end up agonisingly wide of the target after the American had benefited from some poor defending.
As time ticked by, Guingamp showed no signs of improvement and it was Nantes' Audel who went closest at the other end but he volleyed over from Issa Cissokho's delivery.
Younousse Sankhare had a wonderful opportunity with minutes left to steal what would have been an undeserved point when he headed Ladislas Douniama's pull-back over Maxime Dupe's bar but, in the end, Gapke's early strike proved enough for Nantes.
French Ligue 1
|3||Paris St Germain||22||44|
|16||Evian Thonon Gaillar||22||23|