Marseille’s 100% Ligue 1 record this season came to a spectacular halt as they were thrashed 4-1 away at Valenciennes. Following a superb Gael Danic free kick, OM completely shot themselves in the foot by virtually gifting the northerners two more goals before half time. The damage was already done after that and there was no coming back. OM were due a ‘letdown’ performance and this was most certainly it.
Heading into the contest OM had enjoyed a complete week of rest which was a nice bonus to have. Valenciennes meanwhile, played extra time in midweek against Monaco in the cup. There’s no doubt that OM should’ve had the physical edge heading into this encounter but it was the hosts who started brightest. Anthony Le Tallec should’ve done far better when well placed centrally, but he enabled Mandanda to get back into position and make an excellent save. VA continued to dominate and a great Gael Danic run ended with him firing over the bar when he could’ve maybe done better. OM looked lively going forwards too and Gignac hit a difficult shot over the bar.
Danic moment of class
The opening goal came courtesy of a Danic free kick, and it was a very classy strike. The ball was situated just outside the ‘D’ on the right hand side. He curled a brilliant shot right into the top right corner, it was unsavable. For those of you who remember Ian Harte during his glory days at Leeds when he scored loads of free kicks with his left boot, it was very reminiscent of that. Moments later, Danic was causing problems again when his cross found Ducourtioux at the back post, but he blasted over the bar. At the other end, Cheyrou and Valbuena had chances to equalise, but they couldn’t get shots on target when well placed.
Fanni cock up
The match was fairly evenly balanced around this moment in time, but two incredible mistakes by OM were to completely turn the tables solely in Valenciennes’ favour. The first was Rod Fanni, who had a big cock up when he failed to make an interception on Danic inside the area. The VA winger duly passed the ball across the face of goal where Le Tallec just tapped in. It was so easy that even this renowned poor striker managed to score for once!
The 2nd gaffe was even worse. Mandanda collected the ball easily and basically in simple terms completely fucked up his throw! Amazingly, the custodian threw the ball into the ground and it fell straight into the path of Kadir who made no mistake to make it 3-0. That was the game gone there and then, you simply don’t come from 0-3 behind very often, certainly not in Ligue 1.
The 2nd half was all about pride but clearly the wind had been taken out of OM’s sails. The game was closer to becoming 4-0 rather than 3-1 and eventually the hosts did get another goal. Le Tallec headed home easily following another Gael Danic cross. Danic was outstanding in this match and he killed OM all day on the left wing. Its worth noting that although Le Tallec scored 2 goals (both of which were very easy) the striker should’ve scored at least 3 or 4 in total. I personally believe he will be a flop for VA and his misses will ultimately cost them at some stage.
There isn’t really much else to say about the remainder of the game. The last 15 minutes were played at a pedestrian pace, everyone knew what the outcome was going to be. Jordan Ayew scored a late consolation for OM with a nice volley, but it was far too little too late and Elie Baup’s men fell to a 4-1 defeat in northern France.
Big improvement needed for Classico
This loss dramatically ended OMs 100% start to the season in Ligue 1. Indeed, it is also Elie Baup’s first competitive defeat as coach. OM’s first half performance was abject. To put it bluntly, the mistakes made were totally fucking horrendous and inexcusable. The players were overconfident and this was as clear a letdown performance where the team lost focus. It is essential that a ‘rebound’ is made, and immediately. The midweek Europa League game at home to AEL is of little importance compared to Sundays Classico fixture with PSG at the Velodrome. OM simply must improve dramatically and bring their A-game to the table otherwise Le Parisians will take the points.
Players ratings and infos.
Mandanda 1/10 He made some good saves in this match, but the mistake he made will forever be remembered. Deserves a 1/10 just for doing what he did, it was that bad!
Kabore 2/10 Danic tore him apart all game, he had a shocker.
Fanni 2/10 Just wasn’t at the races. Looked all at seas here and his terrible cock up led to the 2nd goal.
Nkoulou 4/10 OM’s best defender, but still wasn’t great. Uncharacteristically out of position a few times.
Morel 4/10 Less problems on his side of the field, but was still below par.
Cheyrou 2/10 Far more is expected of him. Was far too overly aggressive here and some of his tackles were shocking. Amazingly wasn’t booked before being taken off in the 54th min.
Abdullah 3/10 He has made great strides in recent weeks, but he showed he was out of his depth here and invisible at times.
Valbuena 6/10 Some credit to an OM player here, he was the one man who actually looked dangerous and tried to make things happen.
A Ayew 3/10 Again, flat and pretty lifeless. He has been off form all season.
Amalfitano 4/10 Did ok but didn’t really offer much and was below par.
Gignac 3/10 Had some chances, didn’t take them and overall was pretty disappointing.
Remy 4/10 Didn’t do too badly when he came on, is still in the process of regaining match sharpness.
J Ayew 5/10 Gave the team some energy and deserves credit for scoring a nice late goal.
Raspentino – only played 11 mins so hard to assess.