Marseille Victory Comes At A Price
Marseille claimed an easy and routine win against Bourg to progress into the Quarter Finals of the French Cup, but the victory came at a price. Loic Remy injured himself during the game and he will now be out for about 3 weeks. OM surprisingly lined up at full strength here which in the end was to prove costly, it looked like a good opportunity to rest players, but Deschamps didn’t do this with the only man given a breather being Steve Mandanda.
The formation used was a hybrid and adaptable 4-3-3 system with Remy RWIN, Valbuena LWIN and Amalfitano sort of floating around in a free attacking midfield role. As expected, Bourg came and parked the bus in the early stages, or at least attempted to. The first 20 mins were never going to be easy to break down a side full of energy and who would be very motivated. OM had to be contented to play a patient and possession game gradually trying to wear down their opponents.
Only one team ever looked threatening and it was OM. A few chances had come and gone before they opened the scoring in the 28th minute. Azpiliqueta sent in a cross, Brandao took advantage and poached yet another goal to continue his superb run of form. Bourg had one of their few chances just 5 minutes later through Dimitrou, but he couldn’t convert at the near post, whilst at the other end Brandao hit the bar. The Brazilian wasn’t to be denied though and just before half time he tapped in his second after good and unselfish work from Amalfitano.
The game was pretty much over and Bourg had shown little signs of any resistance. OM lowered the tempo in the 2nd half a bit and pretty much cantered home to victory. Jordan Ayew scored superb 3rd from long range and to be quite honest there were numerous chances to add more goals. Bourg grabbed an undeserved consolation 15 minutes from time when Diaby took advantage of a deflected free kick and converted from close range. But it was never a goal which was going to threaten OM, and even after this the hosts had more chances to extend their lead, but failed.
A positive performance by OM to progress to the next round, but Loic Remy had to go off at HT injured and he will now miss 3 weeks. Really this shows why you shouldn’t play your best players in games like this which are fundamentally unimportant. I really do criticise Deschamps for this decision, it was a good chance to give fringe players a start but he didn’t opt to do it that way.
Man of the match :- Brandao (yes again, no joke)
Yet again he comes up with goals, and his value to the team will be even more important now that Remy is injured for a while. In a game like this, a number of players played well though, Amalfitano was another contender for MOM.
Worst player :- Sabo
He came off the bench to play the last 20 mins and constantly made the wrong decisions. Got into some good positions but his finishing was woeful and he sometimes failed to see an obvious pass which would’ve led to an easy goal-scoring opportunity. He was too intent on being individual and greedy.
Steve (@MarseilleUK & @meatmansoccer)