Marseille made it back to back wins thanks to a comfortable 2-0 victory against Sochaux at Le Stade Velodrome. OM dominated right from start to finish and should’ve won by more goals. It was a very convincing display and it ensures Elie Baup’s men remain with their 100% record intact.
Marseille started strongly and came quickly out of the traps inside the first 15 minutes. The line up was as expected, although Azpi did take to the field which was perhaps a slight surprise. Gignac was especially lively early on and twice forced Cros into making some good saves. There was only one team on top, but the match was being played in really hot conditions so it was no surprise to see the pace and intensity of the game slow down at certain stages.
After the drinks break, the hosts continued to dominate and all of the action was happening in Sochaux’s half. OM kept knocking away and their best chances before half time were through a Gignac dinked chip shot which went just over, and then Rod Fanni wasted a free headed opportunity at the back post. Sochaux had offered absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing. They hadn’t even had a sniff of goal and Steve Mandanda probably had about 2 or 3 touches of the ball in the whole period.
After the break, Sochaux finally had a veritable occasion when Bakambu sneaked in at the back post, but Mandanda who had been an observer for most of the game made a decent save. Just a couple of minutes later, OM opened the scoring. An excellent inswinging Cheyrou corner found the head of Gignac who made no mistake and converted into the net. Gignac has looked really sharp at the start of this season and in celebration he was clearly delighted with this goal, kissing the OM badge on his shirt passionately afterwards.
What followed was an intense 5-10 minute period of complete OM domination. Gignac should’ve had a 2nd when he fired wide from close range and Sochaux were constantly on the back foot. Had OM managed to score a goal in this period then I honestly think the scoreline could’ve become a rout, 4 or 5 nil maybe. But Sochaux managed to survive and eventually there was another lull period.
After the 70 minute mark, the visitors started to look a little more dangerous (not much more) and put in a few more crosses/shots. But OM were never in real trouble and indeed at the other end there was always a huge threat of a 2nd goal. In the last 10 minutes OM didn’t take their foot off the gas aiming to hang on, they went looking for another which would make life easier. Eventually it came through a neat Rod Fanni close range finish and fans could relax.
Overall, this was a very impressive OM display. Sochaux did look like a poor side, possibly a side who could be in major relegation trouble this season, but you can only beat what’s in front of you. Next up for OM is a trip to Moldova where they will play FC Sherrif in the Europa league. That could be an awkward little fixture because it’s a fair way into eastern Europe, never an easy place to go. Following that match is a trip to south coast rivals Montpellier on Sunday afternoon in what should be a pulsating match at Le Stade Mosson.
Player verdict and ratings
Mandanda 6/10 Really didn’t have much to do here, but kept alert when he needed to.
Azpiliqueta 7/10 For a man who is pretty much on his way out of the club this was an impressive display, remained very professional.
N’Koulou 6/10 Wasn’t really tested much, but solid as ever
Fanni 8/10 Gave an assertive display at the back and even ventured forwards a few times. Capped off his performance well with a goal.
Morel 6/10 Did well and contributed to both the defence and attack.
Cheyrou 7/10 Another assured midfielder performance and he made things tick.
Kabore 6/10 Solid, if not spectacular
Valbuena 6/10 Still has yet to reach his best this season but still played fairly well.
Amalfitano 8/10 Good display, constantly causing problems on the right hand side and gave the team a lot of energy.
Andre Ayew 5/10 Missed some decent chances and generally didn’t make as much of an impact compared to some here.
Gignac 8/10 Was looking very sharp right from the early stages and caused Sochaux problems. Scored the opening goal with a well taken header.
Referee (Bartolomeu Varela) 10/10 Given mostly by default as he did nothing wrong. Very quiet match and he had little to do, but stayed in complete control.
Official OMarseilleUK Man of the match :- Gignac
Fanni and Azpiliqueta were close behind him too, but he got the crucial breakthrough and that goal just edges him over the others.