Nice have the best goalkeeper in France – which is just as well


This post is by Adam White and Eric Devin from Football | The Guardian


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Patrick Vieira’s team have the second worst attack in Ligue 1 this season yet they are somehow challenging for a place in Europe

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

The visit of Lyon to the Allianz Riviera was not the easiest of matches for Walter Benítez to keep his tenth clean sheet of the season, but Nice won 1-0 and he cemented his case for being the best keeper in France. Only five goalkeepers in Europe’s top five leagues have kept more clean sheets than Benítez this season – Alisson, Samir Handanovic, Ederson, Jan Oblak and Kepa. It has been an impressive campaign for the uncapped Argentinian, who joined Nice from Quilmes in 2016, but his performances should not surprise anyone who has kept an eye on Les Aiglons under Patrick Vieira.

This column has not been shy about criticising the former Arsenal midfielder as tackles his first managerial job in Europe, especially earlier in the season, when he struggled with his man-management and tactical planning. Much has since been made of Vieira’s switch to a back three early in the season, allowing Nice to play a style of possession football in which they sit very deep and wait patiently before trying to counter through the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin and Youcef Atal. Their attack is still a work in progress – Saint-Maximin is the only Nice player to have scored more than three league goals this season – but Nice now have as many points as fourth-placed Montpellier.

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