Starligue: thanks to a newfound defense, MHB largely dominated Dunkirk after spending a week without playing

Starligue: thanks to a newfound defense, MHB largely dominated Dunkirk after spending a week without playing

Simonet a été étincelant en attaque, tout comme ses coéquipiers en défense. Midi Libre – SYLVIE CAMBON

Après une semaine sans jouer, le MHB a largement dominé Dunkerque (37-25) grâce à une défense retrouvée, samedi 13 avril au FDI Stadium lors de la 24e journée de Starligue.

That the best defense in the championship conceded 38 goals (!) during its victory at Saint-Raphaël (38-42) is one thing. But for her to repeat such a defensive performance in the next match would have been a completely different story. Fortunately, Montpellier Handball corrected its copy against Dunkirk this Saturday evening at the FDI Stadium. And in a very beautiful way. The Montpellier residents proved that they had lost none of their splendor, after a week of undoubtedly beneficial rest between the trip to the Var and the reception of the Northerners.

"We had a week with two big training sessions during the week, especially in defense. We became aware that we needed to be much more consistent in this sector because we will not score 42 goals all the time", analyzed Patrice Canayer afterwards, he who has not lost against Dunkirk with Montpellier since September 2015.

Also read: MHB – Dunkirk: "It's good to have tightened up the defensive bolts", "it could cause problems for Kiel"… post-match reactions

From the start of Saturday evening's match, his men showed that they were not going to let anything go in defense, conceding only two goals in ten minutes (7-2). And you had to be damn brave or very talented to break through the central Porte-Konan-A trio. Lenne, once again very efficient. The first mentioned, captain, began the first quarter of an hour with four goals, leaving his calf problems far behind him before going to sit down during the first rotations.

The black point of rotations

These were the only black point of the meeting on the Hérault side, the entries of Berthier or Nacinovic – unlike that of Simonet – allowing the Dunkirks to nibble little by little. Franck Maurice's men even got themselves a ball – 1 five minutes before halftime, finally reached with five goals behind.

Starligue: the ranking and all the results of the 24th day

"We bothered them with an attack placed in the first half but afterwards, we gave them too much ammunition and we ended up exploding", summarized the former coach of Nîmes (2014-2022 ). His players actually did not hold out over the long term, facing a defense that recovered until the very end of the match in front of an efficient Charles Bolzinger in the second period (6 saves).

The attack is not far behind

On the other side of the field, the Montpellier residents also played very good handball, as they have done for several matches. With a Stas Skube (5 goals, 8 assists) who needs no introduction, or a sparkling long-distance Diego Simonet on Saturday evening (6 goals).

A good omen before Kiel in the quarter-finals of the Champions League in ten days and Chambéry, Tuesday in the championship. "What's great is that in the 55th minute, there are three of us closing, we shout and we push, explained Yanis Lenne. It shows that the team is mentally present and knows where they want to go."

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