Marseille blew a 2-0 lead at home to Lyon at Le Stade Velodrome and had to settle for a point on Sunday evening. All of the goals came in the first half and as an overall reflection of the game, neither team could have any complaints. OM can have regrets for not holding onto such a nice lead, whilst Lyon could’ve perhaps claimed all 3 points had they taken their chances. Each side looked vulnerable in defence and perhaps the recent run of a lot of fixtures caught up with them a bit.
It was OM who started brightest and Amalfitano should’ve gone closer inside just 2 minutes but fired over the bar when well placed. The game was very open to start with and it seemed both teams were thinking more of attack rather than defence. At the other end Gomis found himself with a good chance following nice work by Lisandro. Mandanda came to OM’s rescue though by making a good stop. Both teams were evenly matched but it was OM who drew first blood in the 16th minute.
A cross into the area caused the OL defence some problems, Brandao applied pressure on Cissokho and forced a poor clearance. The end result was the ball falling to Cheyrou and he turned a deflected shot into the goal from close range to make it 1-0. Going ahead gave OM confidence and they looked fairly assertive for the next 15 mins or so. The crowd were happy and Deschamps’ men knocked the ball around nicely it was definitely a good time to score a goal.
Better was to follow when Amalfitano sent in a delicious cross and Brandao volleyed first time into the corner of the net! It was a great finish by the Brazilian, his 3rd goal since returning to the club at the start of January. OM had played fairly well, but nothing special yet they found themselves into a 2-0 lead. This was a great position which they would ultimately let slip, and very quickly.
Lyon’s response was immediate. From a corner, sloppy marking and a poor attempted clearance led to Gomis having the easy task of firing home from close range. This was a crucial goal because it got OL back into the game quickly. It gave them momentum, belief and seemed to put seeds of doubt into OM’s mind. The rest of the first half was all Lyon pressure and the hosts did look vulnerable. Sadly right on the stroke of the interval, Diawara scored a freak own goal when under virtually no pressure. It had summed up his first half display during which he’d looked a bit undercooked, perhaps still suffering from his African nightmare with Senegal.
The 2nd period didn’t really contain that many clear cut chances and was an even 45 minutes of football. OM had quite a lot of possession and had numerous shots on goal, none of which troubled Lloris too much. Lyon always looked dangerous on the break and arguably seemed like the side most likely to score. Remi Garde’s men however failed to kick on from their excellent comeback and a draw appeared to be something they would happily settle for. To be honest, during the last 20 mins it seemed like OM would be content with a point as well.
Both teams have been playing a lot of matches recently and an element of tiredness and fatigue came in, a number of players looked weary. Lyon’s comeback was nearly complete in stoppage time when Lisandro got into a great position but his shot was well saved by Mandanda. The final score-line was 2-2 and over the course of the 90 mins it seemed like a fair outcome. Both sides can have regrets and the result does little for either team, especially in maintaining any title hopes.
Man of the match:- Brandao
For the 2nd straight game he takes the honours as OM’s best player. He caused problems in the Lyon defence which led to the first goal, then sent a superb volley past Lloris to make it 2-0. Brandao looks really sharp at the moment and is a major goal threat.
Worth a mention:-
Morel:- Mainstream sites like lequipe and football365.fr didn’t actually rate him that highly in this match, but I thought he put in a good stint. Was full of energy and quite a busy player, got involved in attack quite a lot and was impressive on the eye.
Kabore:- For someone just back from Africa and who hasn’t started that much for OM this season, he looked decent enough. Played a nice passing game and generally didn’t do anything wrong in midfield, a positive performance for sure.
Worst player :- Diawara
A really poor performance in defence riddled by mistakes. He was often out of position, lacked awareness and also seemed nervous. His bad display was topped off by scoring a ridiculous own goal out of nowhere when under no pressure. By all accounts he was appalling for Senegal in the African Nations Cup, let’s hope that he can regain some form sooner rather than later……
Steve (@MarseilleUK & @meatmansoccer)