Live Commentary: Nice 2-2 Montpellier - as it happened
Relive Sports Mole's coverage of the Ligue 1 game between Nice and Montpellier.
By Matt Cotton, Reporter Filed: Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 15:34 UK
Last Updated: Monday, September 2, 2013 at 23:35 UK
Nice welcomed Montpellier HSC in their final match at the Stade du Ray on Sunday with both teams sitting side by side in the table.
Les Aiglons were looking to get back to winning ways having been dumped out of the Europa League during the week, while the visitors were hoping to push towards a European spot.
However, the two teams are still inseparable after an entertaining 2-2 draw.
Read how it all unfolded in our live commentary below.
3.37pmGood afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage from the Stade du Ray where Nice host Montpellier HSC in Ligue 1.
3.38pmSaturday proved to be another fascinating day in the top tier of French football as PSG left it late against Guingamp, 10-man Bastia overcame Toulouse and Lyon's miserable recent form continued with another surprise defeat, this time to Evian.
3.40pmSunday promises to be another great day of French action, with Saint-Etienne beating Bordeaux 2-1 earlier today. Sports Mole will bring you live commentary from the huge clash between Marseille and AS Monaco later, but first we have this intriguing encounter between these two European hopefuls.
3.41pmClaude Puel is desperate for Nice to get back to winning ways. Having finished fourth last year, Les Aiglons missed out on the chance of progressing to the Europa League group stages after losing 2-1 on aggregate to Cypriot outfit Apollon Limassol. Nice will be eager to turn their fortunes around today.
3.43pmMontpellier are looking ok. The 2012 champions' only defeat this campaign came at the hands of Monaco, but a draw with PSG and a last-gasp win over Sochaux has left them in a positive mood heading into this match.
3.45pmRight, let's bring you the team news for this match.
3.55pmJean Fernandez makes as many as four changes to the side that beat Sochaux last weekend. Mathieu Deplagne, Djamel Bakar, Jonas Martin and Joris Marveaux all drop out of the team, while Daniel Congre, Remy Cabella, Anthony Mounier and Abdelhamid El Kaoutari all come in.
3.55pmThis match also marks the final game for Nice at the Stade du Ray before they move into their new home of the Allianz Riviera.
3.58pmThe two sides are out here at the Stade du Ray. Nice are wearing their red and black striped shirts with black shorts and socks, while Montpellier are sporting their away kit of white shirts, orange shorts and white socks.
3.59pmMany a flair has gone off inside the stadium, and you can hardly see the pith at the moment.
2 minNearly an early change for Nice as Bruls crosses the ball in towards Eysseric, but he is marked too tightly by Hilton to get a clean shot away and it goes behind for a goal kick.
3 minMontpellier will be looking for some inspiration from creative midfielder Remy Cabella who is back in the side following an injury a last week that meant he came on as a substitute against Sochaux.
4 minThere's a great atmosphere at the Stade du Ray, as you would expect with it being the final match here.
6 minNice have half a penalty shot as Eysseric and Bruls combine down the right before putting a troubling cross to the edge of the box. Cvitanich goes down under pressure from El Kaoutari, but nothing is given.
7 minGoing back to the penalty shout, it would have been very very harsh on Montpellier for that to have been given.
8 minMontpellier are playing from right to left in this first half, and haven't really ventured forward yet.
9 minIt's just as well that Nice are leaving the Stade du Ray as this pitch looks battered already, and the season has only just started. Patches of damaged, orange grass everywhere.
10 minCLOSE! Nearly a worldie from Camara. Montpellier bring the play in from the and give the ball to Cabella. He helps it further inside to Camara, who touches the ball to his left with his right boot before firing and effort towards the top corner on his other peg. The shot is just wide of the top corner.
12 minFairly even start so far at the Stade du Ray, this looks as if it is going to be a very good game.
14 minCHANCE! Nice nearly find a way through after Bruls curls a fantastic pass from the right into the path of the rushing Cvitanich. However, he stops in the box and appeals to the referee after a seemingly high foot from El Kaoutari. Nothing given, and the game goes on.
19 minBreakthrough for Nice who whip in a lovely corner from the right to the near post. Kolodziejczak does ever so well to lose his marker and help it on with his head on the near side of the six-yard box. Great nod, 1-0 Nice.
21 minMontpellier's response to going behind has been decent as Mounier wins them a corner. However it is cleared away at the far post by the hosts.
23 minCHANCE! Cross comes in from Bautheac on the left which sails over Cvitanich and towards Bruls. The winger gets his head to it and tries to nod it back across goal, but can't keep it down.
25 minThe atmosphere is wild at the Stade du Ray. The Nice fans are loving life at the moment.
27 minHowever, it's not just the Nice fans. Montpellier supporters are in fine voice and waving their flags like lunatics behind one of the goals. The action on the field has quietened down in recent moments.
29 minBruls has made a really good start to this game and is causing Tiene all sorts of problems on the near side. He shows some nice skill before whipping a dangerous ball into the box from the right. Could be a real problem for Montpellier this afternoon.
31 minNice have probably been the better side so far, and deserve their lead. They've been more clinical when it has come to creating chances.
35 minWhat was I saying? Montpellier level the match up after a horrible moment for the young left-back Amavi. Mounier floats a ball from just over the halfway line towards the edge of the box, where it hits the back of Amavi and drops into the path of Camara who smashes the ball into the bottom corner with a fine finish. Game on.
37 minSuch a horrible moment for the 19-year-old Amavi, but Camara punished him well. The top division is an unforgiving one.
38 minYELLOW CARD Mounier goes into the book for Montpellier.
39 minCHANCE! Nice almost immediately retake the lead through Bruls. Cvitanich does well to dribble through a number of Montpellier defenders before squaring the ball to the right side of the box. Bruls meets the pass by striking across the ball, but his shot smashes into the side-netting at the near post.
41 minMontpellier loft in a corner from the right, but it is easily dealt with by the Nice defence.
44 minNice are back in front and it's a fine goal from Eysseric. He picks the ball up on the right before skinning El Kaoutari to come inside before smashing a low shot with his left boot into the near bottom corner pass Pionnier. Lovely strike.
45 minWe will have two extra minutes at the end of this first half.
45+1 minThat goal is what Nice deserve. Their first-half performance warrants them being ahead at the break.
4.48pmWell that brings an end to a very entertaining first half at the Stade du Ray. Kolodziejczak and Eysseric have given Nice the lead while Camara had equalised for Montpellier. However, Nice are deservedly in front.
5.01pmMontpellier are back out on the field ready for the second half. Nice seem to be waiting in the tunnel. Presumably for the whole team to go out together.
5.03pmMONTPELLIER CHANGE Mounier has been replaced at the break by Djamel Bakar.
46 minKICKOFF! Montpellier get the second half underway.
48 minQuiet start to this second half. Both sides have ventured forward, but no chances as of yet.
50 minYELLOW CARD Montpellier nearly find their way through after Cabella runs onto a long ball before being clattered by the defence. The same happens to Montano, who chased the follow up. Jordan Amavi goes into the book for his challenge. Free kick on the edge of the box to the visitors.
52 minGreat chance here for Montpellier. This free kick is dead central and right on the edge of the D.