13/7/12 – 20:45
Stade de Tourbillon, Sion
Marseille: Bracigliano – Mango, M.Bow, N’Diaye, Aloe – Ammari, Amalfitano, Cheyrou – Remy, A. Ayew – Gignac
Subs: Fabri ’47, Sy ’72, Bangoura ’78, Abdullah ’30, Omrani ’68, Raspentino ’47, Jobello ’72, Gadi ’59
Benfica beat Marseille 2-0 in Sion and it was a deserved success for the Portuguese side. Overall, they always had control against what was a very under strength OM line up which performed fairly well considering who was actually on the field. In many ways, this friendly was probably fairly pointless for OM, but at least it did give the younger players some pitch time again.
It didn’t seem possible, but arguably OM had a weaker XI here than they did against Sion. Andre Ayew made a surprise return to the side, but Morel was injured and the defence consisted of pure rookies and very weakened. Nevertheless, the first 20 minutes definitely belonged to OM and they were the better team in this period. Remy, Ayew and Gignac were especially dangerous and a couple of chances were created. However, as soon as Remy went off in the 24th minute, because of a possible thigh injury then OM started to struggle more.
As was the case against Sion, Remy was the key man and had looked dangerous. We should really do our best to keep him at the club, he’s a massive player and so important. OM struggled for the remainder of the 2nd half as gradually Benfica took control. They were awarded a penalty just before halftime when Cheyrou clearly fouled one of their players, it was a silly challenge and hopefully one which wont be repeated during the competitive season. Cardozo tucked away the penalty and Benfica led 1-0.
For most of the 2nd half it was the Portuguese outfit who had control over the game. They retained possession well and kept the ball on the ground. They also showed a surprising amount of competitiveness and put in a few rough tackles which I didn’t expect. They scored a 2nd goal in stoppage time thanks to a nice volley and the final scoreline was 2-0. This was a fair reflection of the game and the inexperienced OM side had done well to restrict them to just a two goal win.
Not too much can be taken from this friendly or indeed the Sion mach, simply because most of OM’s main team has been unavailable or injured. Those players are now due back this week so the remainder of the pre-season campaign will be more important as Elie Baup gets to know his squad more.
Goals & Highlights (If anyone has any better quality please let us know)
Steve (@MarseilleUK & @meatmansoccer)