Nantes pay tribute to Sala before Ligue 1 match

By Sports Desk February 10, 2019

Nantes players and fans paid a series of tributes to the late Emiliano Sala before and during their Ligue 1 match against Nimes on Sunday.

Vahid Halihodzic's side were in action for the first time since the body recovered from a plane wreckage in the English Channel was confirmed as that of their former striker.

Sala, who last month signed for Premier League side Cardiff City, and pilot David Ibbotson were on board a Piper Malibu aircraft that disappeared on January 21.

Nantes confirmed they would retire the number nine shirt worn by the Argentine during his time at the club and players from the French outfit were involved in attaching his jersey to one of the goal nets at Stade de la Beaujoire.

Tickets to the match against Nimes were sold for a symbolic €9, with fans displaying a large tifo bearing the number prior to kick-off.

Supporters from both clubs also chanted Sala's name during the ninth minute of the game.

Related items

  • Stones still out but Zinchenko fit to face Bournemouth Stones still out but Zinchenko fit to face Bournemouth

    John Stones will be missing again for Manchester City against Bournemouth but Oleksandr Zinchenko is fit to start on Sunday.

    England defender Stones did not feature against Tottenham in the Premier League last week due to a thigh injury, with Nicolas Otamendi instead partnering Aymeric Laporte.

    The same duo are set to start again for City this week, as Guardiola offered little update on Stones other than to confirm his continued absence.

    "No, I don't know. He's not fit for this weekend," Guardiola told a news conference, before he was asked about next weekend and replied: "We'll see."

    There was better news on Zinchenko's fitness, however, after the left-back looked to be struggling during the closing stages of the 2-2 draw with Spurs.

    Guardiola confirmed the 22-year-old had merely been suffering from cramp and would be available at Bournemouth.

    "He's fit. He has been training. It was cramp," the manager said.

    "It was such a demanding game against Tottenham. We had incredibly tough games against Liverpool [in the Community Shield] and Tottenham and the people, at the end, were tired.

    "If we were more clinical in both boxes, the game in the last 20 minutes might have been easy. By going to 2-2, it's always so demanding. Against top teams, the physicality is tough.

    "We're not yet in the normal process of games every three days where the rhythm is there. It was cramp, but he's okay.

    New signing Joao Cancelo "is ready with his understanding", according to Guardiola, but he added the full City squad will not be needed until the fixtures ramp up following the international break.

    Cancelo would have been one option to replace Zinchenko had he missed out, but the City boss is not short of alternatives, with Benjamin Mendy also back in training.

    "On the left, we have Oleks, we have Angelino, we have Mendy coming back now in training all week with us," Guardiola said.

    "Normally, [Cancelo] would play right-back, but he can play left. Juventus played him left many times. He can play both sides and as a winger, too.

    "He can play several positions, but normally we think about him playing right-back because Kyle [Walker] cannot play every week every three days. It's impossible."

  • Guardiola: I doubted milestone man David Silva before City move Guardiola: I doubted milestone man David Silva before City move

    Pep Guardiola acknowledged he was among those who doubted David Silva would be a success at Manchester City as he lauded the midfielder's "just incredible" longevity.

    City captain Silva is set to make his 400th appearance for the club against Bournemouth on Sunday, having joined from Valencia in 2010.

    The Spaniard has played a part in four Premier League title wins, yet, to many, his diminutive stature and silky skills did not appear a good fit for English football.

    This was put to Guardiola in Friday's pre-match news conference and the City boss interjected to say he had similarly thought Silva might struggle before being proven spectacularly wrong.

    "Yep, me included [in those who thought Silva would struggle]," he said. "I think it's his character. It's not just his quality to move in small spaces, it's that he's a huge competitor.

    "In the training sessions, the games, in the bad moments, how he reacts, he is a huge competitor.

    "For his specific qualities to survive in the Premier League is not easy for a long time. And he did it. He has to be so proud of himself and what he has done.

    "He's a technical player - he's not a box-to-box - and my image of English football from the outside was that maybe he's going to falter. But I was happily, happily wrong.

    "That was my first impression, but from the beginning - it's not just that David played well this season - he was playing good with other managers, Roberto [Mancini], Manuel [Pellegrini], with us.

    "After I spoke with managers he had in Spain, what everybody speaks, I realised what I realised here. Everybody knows about his quality with the ball, but he's more than that. He's incredible.

    "He is a competitor, a winner. Four Premier Leagues he won, and a lot of domestic prizes. This generation of players - like Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero - helped to make this club in a better position in the Premier League and in European competition."

    Discussing his appearance milestone, Guardiola said of Silva: "I admire a lot. What I admire the most is when you look at these records or numbers.

    "To do 400 games means many years, many bad moments, many good moments, being there day by day, week by week. I admire that a lot. You can have a good year, a good season, but almost 10 seasons here doing that is just incredible.

    "Big congratulations. For the City supporters - me included - it is a privilege what he has done at this club. Hopefully in the last season he is going to be here, he can help us to achieve."

  • Lampard has faith in misfiring Chelsea forwards after Batshuayi makes goalscoring return Lampard has faith in misfiring Chelsea forwards after Batshuayi makes goalscoring return

    Frank Lampard is confident Chelsea's forwards will start to come good in the Premier League after Michy Batshuayi made a goalscoring return to action on Monday.

    The Belgium striker scored twice against Liverpool for the Chelsea Under-23 side in a match in which Antonio Rudiger managed 90 minutes for the first time since suffering a knee injury in April.

    Batshuayi's goals were a boost to head coach Lampard, who has yet to see any of his recognised strikers score in a Premier League fixture since he took charge before the start of the season.

    Lampard now hopes to see Batshuayi, Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham get off the mark as soon as possible as his side prepare to face Norwich City on Saturday.

    "Michy got the fitness work he needed out of the game. He scored two good goals, two very good finishes. I thought he worked hard and that's exactly what the game was there to do for him," Lampard said.

    "As I've said here and I've said on the training pitch, we need Michy, we need the competition up front with the three strikers we have. I used to love practicing my finishing in training, it's what I felt made me lucky at the weekend, and gave me an edge in front of goal.

    "What I have got is great attitude in the three strikers particularly, but others in the squad also always want to stay out, want to work harder. The reality is that moments come when things don't quite go for you. [If] Tammy's goal goes in off the post against United, [it's a] different story for him, different story for the game.

    "But you can't get too down about that. I don't think we need to go negative about it. It's about positivity, working hard and the belief that it will come, and I believe it will come. We're talking about quality players in terms of our attacking players, so it will come."

    Chelsea lost 4-0 to Manchester United on the opening day and were held 1-1 by Leicester City at Stamford Bridge last time out, having failed to capitalise on encouraging spells in each of those matches.

    Lampard says it would not be fair on Norwich to describe the meeting as Carrow Road as "must-win" for his side, but he is taking encouragement from the Blues' performances so far.

    "This is the Premier League and you can't disrespect any team to say, 'it's must-win' or 'we'll turn up to win' because every game is difficult," he said.

    "I was clear with the players: the performance [against Leicester] spoke for itself. The first half was fantastic. Normally that first half would be two or three-nil, and from then on very comfortable.

    "We've shown some really good bits, but we've still got work to do. We're not where we want to be, and it would be impossible to say that three games into the season. It's not easy in pre-season with players coming back late to try and change everything in one go. You can't. You just have to work hard and keep trying to deliver messages throughout.

    "We'll get better and the good times are good, but we also know there's a lot to improve on. We're not there yet."

    N'Golo Kante faces a fitness test for the match, while Rudiger and Callum Hudson-Odoi are not likely to return until after the international break.

    "Kante has got an injury he has carried all week, so we'll assess that over the next 24 hours over whether he is [available]," Lampard added. "Rudiger's not fit yet, hopefully for next week. That's the only changes from where we were last week.

    "Callum is training, looking bright and sharp but now we're in the zone where it's about protecting him, giving him conditioning with fitness, especially in the area of his injury. He has had quite a long time out.

    "The international break comes at quite a good time for us with both of those and for Reece James. They're all in a position where, I hope, two or three weeks of strong training puts them back in the frame for the squad."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.