Saturday 4 August 2012, 6:00pm
OGC Nice
OGC Nice
Fulham FC
Petric 18'; Kacaniklic 45'; Diarra 64'; Mesca 79'

18' Goal

Mladen Petric

45' Goal

Alexander Kacaniklic
Assist by Mladen Petric

64' Goal

Mahamadou Diarra
Assist by Mladen Petric

79' Goal

Assist by Kerim Frei

58' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Stephen Kelly
Off:Sascha Riether

58' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Kerim Frei
Off:Alexander Kacaniklic

71' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Simon Davies
Off:Bryan Ruiz

71' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Chris Baird
Off:Mousa Dembélé

71' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Steve Sidwell
Off:Mahamadou Diarra

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
Off:Damien Duff

Goals from Mladen Petric, Alex Kacaniklic, Mahamadou Diarra and Mesca made it a comfortable evening in Nice as Martin Jol's side registered an impressive 4-0 victory.

Nice is renowned for its ‘Promenade des Anglais’ – a 7km pathway which stretches across the Mediterranean seafront – and Fulham lived up to its name by strolling to victory on the Cote d’Azur.

With the boulevard’s name translating as ‘the Walk of the English’, the Whites followed suit by winning at a canter at the Stade Municipal du Ray, but it was a win forged during an intense week of gruelling training.

Martin Jol’s Team showed that fierce uphill cycling sessions at the break of dawn, 4,000 feet up in Crans-Montana in the Swiss Alps, paid off as they pushed their fitness to the next level.

Mladen Petric continued his red-hot scoring form, breaking the deadlock on 18 minutes with a spectacular finish, making it five goals in the last four games for the front-man.

And the 31-year-old twice turned provider, first on the stroke of half-time when he released Alex Kacaniklic to double the lead and, again after the break, setting up Mahamadou Diarra on 64 minutes to drill home.

The exclamation mark was added by promising teenager Mesca, two minutes after being introduced, slotting home on 79 minutes as the Whites closed out the match looking fresh and sharp.

Recently appointed OGC Nice manager Claude Puel fielded a strong side for his side’s final test before their Ligue 1 campaign begins next weekend against visitors Ajaccio.

And, with a full pre-season schedule already behind them, OGC settled well and looked comfortable in possession, moving the ball around quickly in the early-evening humidity.

But the Whites – coming off the back off a five-day high-altitude training camp in Switzerland’s mountains – were more than a match for their French hosts in the early reckoning.

Fulham almost forced the first opening when front-man Petric released Kacaniklic but the ball spun away from the tricky winger and Bryan Ruiz lifted his 20-yard effort over.

Lone striker Abraham Guie Guie registered OGC’s first attempt on ten minutes, comfortably saved by Mark Schwarzer, but then a quick Whites burst from one end to the other resulted in Diarra exchanging with Ruiz and sweeping the ball to the marauding Kacaniklic on the left.

His cross bobbled towards the awaiting Petric and, after a loose first touch, the Croatian launched into a stunning bicycle-kick to power the ball past the helpless goalkeeper from ten yards. It was a special finish from a forward playing full of confidence following his recent purple patch.

Following a brief Nice flurry, where Thimotee Kolodziejczak stung Schwarzer’s hands and captain Didier Digard headed over when well placed, Diarra was hit by a crunching late tackle by OGC defender Kafoumba Coulibaly.

After receiving treatment, Diarra was deemed well enough to continue, but Nice escaped punishment when referee Nicolas Rainville recommended Coulibaly was swiftly substituted.

The Whites rode their luck when Sascha Riether reacted quickly to hack Digard’s glancing header from a corner away from the goal-line but the hosts were punished moments later.

Petric, dropping deep to collect a Ruiz pass, played a pin-point reverse ball and Kacaniklic timed his run to perfection to race through the scattered defence and finish past unprotected keeper Delle.

Le Gym, taking their nickname from the gymnastics club where the team were originally founded, raised their game after the interval and Schwarzer reacted well to deny two Fabrice Abriel attempts.

Mousa Dembele almost extended the lead with a low drive before Petric sprung into action once again, collecting Diarra’s pass then teeing him up to drive home low into the corner on 64 minutes.

Kerim Frei and Stephen Kelly were introduced just before the hour to inject freshness into Fulham’s side, and Simon Davies, Chris Baird and Steve Sidwell enjoyed productive 20-minute workouts.

The Whites chased every ball to the final whistle and threatened in wide areas as the game drew to a close, with sub Mesca securing the win with a smart finish from Frei's clever through ball.

Fulham: Schwarzer; Riether (Kelly 58), Hughes, Hangeland (c), Riise; Duff (Mesca 77), Diarra (Sidwell 71), Dembele (Baird 71), Kacaniklic (Frei 58); Ruiz (Davies 71), Petric.

Match Information

Competition: Friendly

Date: Saturday 4 August 2012
Kick-off: 6:00pm

Attendance: 5,162

Referee: Nicolas Rainville

OGC Nice

Team line-up is not available.


Line-up: Schwarzer; Riether (Kelly 58'), Hangeland, Hughes, John Arne Riise; Duff (Mesca 77'), Diarra (Sidwell 71'), Dembélé (Baird 71'), Kacaniklic (Frei 58'); Ruiz (Davies 71'), Petric

Unused substitutes: Stockdale, Briggs, Grygera, Trotta

Manager: Martin Jol

OGC Nice (4-2-3-1)
      Fulham (4-4-2)
      • 1Mark Schwarzer
      • 27Sascha Riether
      • 5Brede Hangeland
      • 18Aaron Hughes
      • 3John Arne Riise
      • 16Damien Duff
      • 19Mahamadou Diarra
      • 30Mousa Dembélé
      • 31Alexander Kacaniklic
      • 11Bryan Ruiz
      • 10Mladen Petric
      • 13David Stockdale
      • 2Stephen Kelly
      • 6Chris Baird
      • 17Matthew Briggs
      • 26Zdenek Grygera
      • Mesca
      • 7Steve Sidwell
      • 21Kerim Frei
      • 29Simon Davies
      • 29Marcello Trotta
      • Martin Jol