Soccer News of Monday, 16 March 2015
Jonathan Mensah was in action as Evian Thonon Gaillard were defeated 2-1 by FC Nantes in Ligue 1.
The result, combined with a simultaneous victory for Jordan Ayew’s Lorient against Stade Malherbe Caen, pushes Evian closer to the dreaded drop zone.
Despite winning three matches consecutively recently, l’ETG have been unable to build on those fine showings and have now lost two in a row.
Their defeat away to the Canaries comes on the back of a 3-1 home loss to Arsenal’s vanquishers AS Monaco last weekend.
After Saturday’s games, and a victory for fellow strugglers Racing Club de Lens, Evian find themselves in 17th place in the Ligue 1 table. They are only three points ahead of Toulouse, who sit in 18th spot, with nine matches still to place.
Evian can at least take solace from the fact that several other sides are in a similar predicament near the foot of the table, with OGC Nice and Jordan’s Lorient only two points ahead of them.
Pascal Dupraz’s outfit defended well for the majority of the first half before conceding moments before the break when Georges-Kevin Nkoudou Mbida found the net after exploiting space in the Evian defence.
They barely had time to settle after the pause when Togo forward Serge Gakpe met a ball over the top to muscle past Mensah and fire home past Benjamin Leroy.
Clarck Nsikulu responded for the visitors late on, but it wasn’t enough for Evian to rouse themselves and secure a point.
Jonathan demonstrated his versatility by playing at left-back for this encounter although he looked less comfortable than he had done against Monaco the week before. While Mensah contributed to a fine defensive team performance during the opening 45 minutes, he struggled with Nantes’s pacey forward play and at times had to cover for centre-back Dany Nounkeu.
Having not played for Evian since October 25, Mensah returned to the first-team for the defeat against Monaco. He was an ever-present for Ghana in Equatorial Guinea as the Black Stars won four matches of six, but has not won a match with Evian since October 4.