Marseille knew that they would face a still challenge in Alain Casssanova’s in-form Toulouse outfit, and this prediction wasn’t far wrong. They came to Le Stade Velodrome with a well-oiled game-plan and some nice controlled tactics which pretty much suffocated OM throughout the whole match, especially in the 2nd half.
Deschamps’ men had injury problems. Mbia, Valbuena, Remy were all ruled out, the Ayew brothers were carrying knocks and guys like Morel were well beaten up too. The manager decided to put Nkoulou on the bench for a breather, giving the in-form Rod Fanni the chance to play CDEF again. The first half was mostly uneventful and chances few and far between. OM did have more opportunities than their opponents, but there was nothing massively dangerous.
It was TFC who had the bigger chances through Capoue and then also Abdenour missed an open goal from about 4 yards out with a free unmarked header. The danger signs were written on the wall for OM and the same typical problems happened once more. Terrible organisation from defending set pieces, dodgy defending and a lack of creativity. Diawara, Azpi and Morel were all guilty of poor concentration at the back and it was Rod Fanni who was again left to clear up any of their mess and the only defender who looked anywhere near decent in this match.
In the 2nd half, TFC dominated and were easily the better team. Mandanda made a superb one-on-one save to deny Riviere, but from the resulting corner Abdenour headed home to make it 1-0. Yet again, poor organisation from a set piece cost OM, both the defence and also Mandanda were to blame. There was never really any major chance of an equaliser and Deschamps’ men looked clueless in attack, offering absolutely nothing. TFC could and should have scored more goals and sealed the victory more comfortably.
OM were really lacking energy, ideas and looked fatigued. Clearly the hectic schedule this season has caught up with the players, and for some guys like the Ayew’s there’s just been no chance of a rest. This was one of the poorer displays of the season by Marseille, although credit must be given to Toulouse. They are a very solid team who are hard to break down and playing with a lot of confidence right now. In some ways it was no disgrace to lose to them considering the current situation, even at home. But better things were expected against Evian in midweek……
Best player:- Fanni
He actually looked quite decent in CDEF and continued his good recent form. Fought hard for the team and was often there to mop up mistakes that other people committed. Without him here, then TFC might have won something like 2-0 or 3-0. There were no other decent performances by OM players overall.
Worst player – Too many to choose from…
Steve (@MarseilleUK & @meatmansoccer)