Marseille won their 6th consecutive game at home to Evian thanks to a slender 1-0 success. It was arguably OM’s worst performance of the season, but the most important thing was that they managed to pick up the 3 points. One reason why OM could’ve been flat was because they had just played out a hard 2-2 draw away in Turkey just a few days before.
Nevertheless, some squad rotation had taken place and the challenge of Evian wasn’t expected to be anything too great. Predictions by most of the pundits were that OM would complete an easy success against a side who had already sacked their manager this season. But it was clear early on that the hosts were feeling the after effects of the Europa League. Their general pace of game was slow, they lacked energy and there seemed to be a lack of drive physically.
Sometimes an exaggerated description of a game can say ‘it was a match of few chances’ But in this instance it really was quite literally the case and any sort of action was few and far between. Possession was mostly OM but they were doing absolutely nothing with it and didn’t look like breaking through. Amalfitano’s goal was about the only meaningful effort of the first half. He headed home a Valbuena free kick from close range to give OM the lead. From a similar situation not too long afterwards Amalfitano headed another chance just wide. As the half came to an end Evian started to show signs of life with some half dangerous situations, but they failed to create anything substantial.
The 2nd half was pretty much a non event. There was very little happening and OM were quite content just to hold onto their 1-0 lead. By this stage, the tiredness from midweek was starting to really take hold and they were struggling. Evian didn’t really offer much either though but they had the best opportunities of the period. Rabiu was played through the middle and should’ve scored, but Mandanda saved. The OM custodian made another fine save later on to deny a header which was heading into the top corner. But apart from those couple of scares, OM held on fairly comfortably to win.
They say when you play badly but still win, it’s a sign of a ‘champion’ This was definitely one of those instances where OM were fortunate to pick up the 3 points. But you cant play well every week and there were understandable reasons why they struggled here. The most important thing is that they picked up the 3 points and maintained their 100% record. Next up in the ligue is an away trip to Valenciennes before the big one, a home classico with PSG. One thing is certain, OM will definitely lead Ligue 1 heading into that encounter.