OGC Nice: Farioli firing on the Riviera!

Farioli began as a goalkeeping coach in the lower leagues of Italy, before moving to Serie A with Roberto De Zerbi… and subsequently making his first steps into management as he impressed in Turkey.


Slow start

The Italian was thrown in at the deep end with OGC Nice, facing a tricky start against three of last season’s top half in the form of Lille, Lorient and Lyon. That saw there draws, bringing criticism of over-playing and a lack of goals: 50 shots frustratingly produced just two strikes.

“It’s the coach’s way of playing,” club captain Dante told the Ligue 1 Show. “That’s what he asks of us, that’s how we train and that’s how we’re going to continue to progress. That’s the way we play. It’s up to us to work on putting those balls away and making things easier for ourselves.”

Farioli: ‘Warriors with the ball, without the ball’

Round 4 was pivotal, with Nice hosting Strasbourg. What unfolded was as comfortable a performance you’re likely to see, and a 2-0 victory for Farioli’s men. With 63% possession, over 500 passes, and both goals assisted by their centre backs, Nice controlled things impressively. Most importantly though, it was a first win on the board – meaning a four-match unbeaten run to start Farioli’s tenure in French football!

“For me, the things that’s made me most proud has been the spirit because I saw one team of warriors with the ball, without the ball,” said Farioli. “We try to do our things, to propose our ideas, but really the thing that has made me more happy than all the tactical aspects has been the spirit. I think we start to believe more every day in what we are doing with the ball and without.”


Showstopper

Nice’s biggest test came on Friday night in the capital. Not many held out hope for Farioli’s side, with Luis Enrique’s stars heading into the match in fine form. However, the Parc Des Princes fell silent when Terem Moffi put the visitors in front on 21 minutes.

Kylian Mbappé levelled for PSG, but Moffi was eager to have his name in the back pages over the usual star name. The Nigerian showed incredible skill and composure to find Gaetan Laborde as Nice regained the lead.

Moffi: ‘We’re all proud of our performance’

“I knew I had to beat my man to set up my player so that’s what I did,” recounted the Nigeria striker. “With the team and myself, I think we’re all proud of our performance.”

A great team effort, but Moffi was the obvious standout – he added his second 15 minutes later to put the result beyond doubt with another emphatic finish.


Moffi: ‘Good things take time’

Nice’s number nine blanked in his first three, but has hit form at the right time. That’s now four goal contributions in his last two, as he bears the fruit of Farioli’s football. 

“Good things take time, so…the past two games we scored, what, five goals?” continued Moffi. “So it’s signs of good things coming. He’s young, he understands players, because he’s really young. Tactically he’s sound, so we love this, we love working with him and we enjoy playing his style of football.”

Nice only had 31% possession in Paris but had eight shots on target to the hosts’ three. Farioli has proven that, even without the majority of possession, his side will create chances and cause problems. The Italian implemented a brave, risky game plan – but it was one that worked to perfection!


Farioli: ‘A very important result’

“We tried to be aggressive,” he explained. “The first goal and a couple of more situations came from balls that we recovered in the opposite half. Sometimes, of course, there are risks because we conceded a couple of actions in the open field, we knew it. But, again, we had two opportunities – to come here to wait and to see what was going to happen, the other one was to come here and to play our cards, our tools. We decided for this one and I think we got a very important result.”

>> Monaco-Nice preview: More than local pride on the line in Côte d’Azur Derby


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