Five things on PSG Handball - Nantes
On Sunday afternoon, Paris Saint-Germain Handball will play in the EHF Final4 third-place play-off against compatriots Nantes.
1 - Paris's semi-final
Les Rouge et Bleu were up against Aalborg in their semi-final on Saturday. They dominated for a good part of the match, but ended up falling in the final minutes. Paris's main tormentor was Felix Claar. The Swedish centre-half went nine for nine against the goal guarded by Vincent Gérard and Yann Genty. Despite six goals from Mikkel Hansen and seven from Nedim Remili, Raul Gonzalez's men could not catch up in the final minutes. The Danes therefore advanced to the EHF Champions League Final (in their first-ever Final4), where they will face Barcelona.
2 - Nantes' semi-final
The Catalans were dominant against a great team from Nantes. As was the case as Paris took on Aarlborg, the match was very tight, and the outcome was far from clear with 15 minutes to go (47': 21-19). The Blaugrana were often thwarted by the excellent last line of defence, Emil Nielsen (14 saves), but they took the lead in the last ten minutes. In order to get back in level terms, The H opted for a seven-man attack, but ended up conceding several long-range goals. Barcelona will now face Aalborg for the title, while Nantes will meet Paris on Sunday afternoon.
𝐂'𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐞́ ! 😕— HBCNantes (@HBCNantes) June 12, 2021
Malgré une belle partie et une énorme débauche d'énergie, nos Nantais s'inclinent ce soir en demi-finale d'EHF Champions League face au @FCBhandbol (𝟑𝟏-𝟐𝟔)#BARCAHBCN | #WeHback pic.twitter.com/cS4MG1FSk1
3 - Third place on the line
Paris Saint-Germain Handball are playing in their fifth Final4 in only six years. So far, they have always managed a podium finish. In their first campaign, in 2015-2016, the capital club finished third, after a victory in the play-off against Kiel (29-27). The following year, they left Germany with a silver medal after losing the final to Vardar Skopje (23-24). In their two other participations, they lost in the semi-finals to Barcelona last January (26-31) and to Nantes in 2018 (32-28), before beating Veszprém (26-31) and Vardar (29-28) respectively.
4 - Head to head
This match-up pits two French teams against each other, both of whom have already played some great duels in the Lidl StarLigue this season. The first was won by Les Rouge et Bleu at the H Arena last December. Our players had to fight hard to get rid of their opponent and relied on Vincent's 20 saves to win (24-26). The return match, on the other hand, was won by Nantes (24-25), who put an end to the Parisians' perfect run in the league (22 victories in as many games). Once again, Nielsen shone, with 15 saves. It should be noted that apart from the defeat in 2018, all the other European matches between the sides have been won by Paris (two victories in the 2018-2019 group stage, but also an eighth win in 2016-2017, with a draw and a success).
5 - To follow the match (throw-off 15:15):
• Television: Eurosport Player
• Live tweet: our official page