Reims have returned to winning ways against Lille after suffering a three-game losing streak. The Will Still-led side have put a dent in Les Dogues’ European credentials by winning 1-0. Zimbabwean midfielder Marshall Munetsi (26) scored the only goal of the game in the first half. The Champagne side prevailed over the Nord side thanks to a tactical switch courtesy of their Anglo-Belgian coaching sensation.
Indeed, Still have cooked up an innovative hybrid 4-4-2 formation to disrupt Paulo Fonseca’s side. The four Reims midfielders were shaping a square in order to screen Lille’s two centre-backs and two defensive midfielders and cut their passing lanes. “That system bears no name and there’s no numbers to describe it either“, lauds Still to L’Equipe. “The idea was to leave the two flanks where their full-backs were in order to control these four players.” Meanwhile, strikers Junya Ito (30) and Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun (21) were fielded as wingers. The move proved a masterstroke, with Reims regularly cutting open a disjointed Lille side.
“It’s good to have ideas and I have a lot of them. But I want to congratulate my players who have fully adhered to it and ran like crazy“, assessed Still. Reims are now ninth in the standings and will travel to second-placed Lens for Ligue 1 gameweek 35.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval