Dijon 2-3 Marseille – Match Review

Fast food, rather than fine dining as Diarra ensures Marseille cut the mustard against Dijion.

Dijon 2v3 OM – Match Review

Date: 29/10/11

Time: 19:00 (18:00 UK)

Venue: Stade Gaston Gerard, Dijon

Conditions: Diawara was wearing gloves and a short sleeved shirt, so erm…..?!

A fast paced, feisty encounter almost saw Marseille surrender a 2 goal lead against Dijon, however, a late goal by Alou Diarra ensured Marseille left Dijon with their first away win of the season.

The game started quickly, with a route one ball pumped forwards for Remy to latch onto. He did well to hold off the pressing Dijon defender, sneak into the box and shoot past the ‘keeper at the near post. Marseille 1-0 up after 30 seconds, and the game continued like this for the first 30 minutes. Cheyrou attacked down the left, Fanni was attacking down the right and Ayew and Jayew were linking well with Remy as Marseille looked to extend their lead in the first half. Early possession tells its own story with OM controlling the game (DFCO 33%67 OM), and dictating the pace. As predicted before the game Marseille passed the ball well in midfield before then attacking suddenly down either flank or with a surging run and through ball down the centre. Marseille’s dominance paid off as Remy was brought down on the edge of the 18 yard box, and with Valbuena sat on the bench Cheyrou struck the free kick, left footed, into the top left corner, leaving the ‘keeper rooted to the spot.

From this point the game became sloppy, with Dijon overrunning the midfield meaning neither team could really get their passing game going. With the midfield crowded both teams were giving away needless free-kicks and silly bookings as the game headed into half time. Although Marseille had controlled a great deal of the first half, through their attacking prowess, OM still looked increasingly vulnerable in defence with Morel the only solid performer.

Not to be outdone by Marseille’s quick goal in the first half, Dijon repeated the feat at the start of the second half. A sloppy clearance, saw the ball sliced in the air and half-time substitute, Jovial, volleyed to give the home side some confidence. The next 10 minutes were frantic, with both teams taking turns to attack and create half chances. The midfield was stretched allowing lots of space in the centre, which both teams ran through, their passing and shooting in the final third letting both teams down.

As Dijon won themselves a corner, Marseille decided to make a double substitution. Valbuena and Diarra replacing the tiring and booked Cheyrou and Amalfitano. However, this appeared to cause confusion amongst the OM team as DFCO scored straight from the corner, with no Marseille player really marking anyone at the near post.

After bringing Gignac on, Marseille looked to use him as a target man, where he effectively lay ed the ball off for others as the wide men would run on. This new attacking threat lead to Marseille’s third and winning goal. Valbuena took a free kick from 40 yards out, floated it in, and Diarra rose to beat the ‘keeper and head into the empty goal. The final 10 minutes seen Marseille look to hang onto their win, half-heartedly attacking and dropping 5 back into midfield when defending.

The final whistle was met with relief by the OM management, players and fans alike, as the players and fans celebrated together. Some symbol of unity? Only time will tell. A win was clearly the main objective from this game, so Deschamps will be happy with that at least. He should also be happy with the way that Marseille managed to control large parts of the game and pass fluidly, something that has not been seen too often this season.

What can be taken out of this game? A few thing to ponder. 4-4-2 appears to work well for OM, giving the 2 strikers options and plenty of support from an attacking midfield line-up. Midfield control was a big part of this game, as Remy and the Ayew brothers dropped back and inside to allow OM to pass the ball freely around their opposition. Defensive cover from midfield often left the OM defence open to attack and looked vulnerable throughout, something that must be addressed as OM prepare to take on Arsenal.

Player ratings –

Mandanda – 6 – Some good saves

Fanni – 6 – Good attacking support, often exposed defensively

Diawara – 7 – Some solid tackling

NKoulou – 7 – Covered well winning the ball

Morel – 6 – Good 1st half, struggled with Dijon attacks in 2nd half

A. Ayew – 7 – Good movement throughout

Kabore – 6 – Provided good defensive cover at times

Cheyrou – 8 – Excellent 1st half performance, subbed at the right time

Amalfitano – 7 – Slotted into midfield play well

J. Ayew – 6 – Linked up play well

Remy – 7 – Always looked to get involved with play

Subs:

Valbuena – 7 – Another assist, looked full of ideas

Diara – 7 – Scored winning goal, brought some solidity to midfield late on

Gignac – 6 – Looked keen when introduced

Allez l’OM

Swanny (@OMarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

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