Monthly Archives: November 2012

Bordeaux 1-0 Marseille – Match Report

A sole goal for Yoan Gouffran gave Bordeaux the win over former manager Elie Baup. Baup’s team created very little, which wasn’t helped by OM’s lack of recognised strikers in the squad. With Remy, Gignac and Jordan Ayew all out it was left to Andre Ayew to lead the line with Raspentino and more surprisingly reserve team striker Apruzesse, the only support on the bench.

The goal came early in the 2nd half, with both teams cancelling each other out prior to this. Tremoulinas jinked his way down the left wing all too easily before crossing for Gouffran who slid in ahead of the OM defence to beat Mandanda at the near post.

The defeat was made even worse by the unnecessary sending off of Lucas Mendes in injury time as he brought down Ben Khalfallah who was almost clean through on goal (not shown in the highlights). Marseille’s abysmal record in Bordeaux continues, having last won against le Girondins in 1978.

Goals & Highlights

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Marseille 2-2 Nice – Match Report

Just 3 days after letting a 2-1 win slip to a late equalising goal at home, Marseille did exactly the same again, this time against south-coast rivals Nice.

It looked like it wasn’t to be Marseille’s day when Valbuena had an early penalty saved, however he made up for this in the 40th minute by providing the cross that Andre Ayew headed home to give OM the lead (despite being in an offside position).

Nice should have equalised immediately in the 2nd half, but referee Said Ennjimi and his assistant decided that Civelli’s shot from a corner did not cross the line. That should have acted as awarning for Marseille, but when another cross drifted across the box, Cvitanich was left unmarked at the far post to net for the visitors.

Marseille’s 2nd goal came as Andre Ayew’s shot rebounded off the bar and hit off the back of Ospina. At first it looked like the ball had crossed the line, but Ospina pushed the ball wide, only for Valbuena to make sure the rebound went in, 2-1 Marseille.

The equaliser for Nice came in the 88th minute and came through a lack of concentration in the OM quarters. As Nice broke down the left there looked to be little danger. The cross came and as Meriem’s shot looked to be heading wide, ex-OM man Abriel snuck in to net, unmarked from close range.

Goals & Highlights

Marseille 2-2 Monchengladbach – Europa League Match Report

A late, late equalising goal from Borussia Monchengladbach’s Arango leaved Marseille with a mountain to climb if they are to progress to the knock-out phase of the Europa League.

In a game that OM dominated they managed to go a goal down thanks to some horrific defending by Cheyrou and as Hanke made the most and scored in the 20th minute. Cheyrou was caught in possession in his own area and instead of clearing it, simply kicked it into the ‘Gladbach player who crossed for Hanke to net.

It stayed that way until half time. In the 53rd minute, Marseille won a corner. As Barton was preparing himself to take, hos team-mates were getting themselves into position to try and equalise. However, Barton didn’t need them as he curled his corner straight in to the far post to grab his first goal for Marseille.

Marseille’s 2nd goal came through another individual effort as Jordan Ayew skipped through the heart of the ‘Gladbach defence to unleash a brilliant strike that Ter Stegen had no chance of stopping.

The sucker-punch came in the 93rd minute, as a poor cross found its way to Arango, who standing totally unmarked managed to shoot past Mandanda.

The result means that Marseille must win their final 2 games, and hope that ‘Gladbach don’t win theirs.

Goals & Highlights

Ajaccio 0-2 Marseille – Match Report

Marseille picked up their first win in Ajaccio for 9 years thanks to 2 second half goals from the Ayew brothers.

Although they took their time to get going, Marseille looked comfortable throughout the game. The players supported each other and played with a positional and possession-al discipline rarely seen in an OM team lately.

Andre Ayew’s goal came in the 55th minute. After some neat trickery down the left, Valbuena’s cross fell to Amalfitano, but as the Ajaccio defence cleared their lines, Ayew hung back and headed on Kabore’s header.

Marseille continued to dominate and never looked in any danger of giving away a goal, apart from a few set-pieces from Adrian Mutu.

Valbuena was also involved in the goal that sealed the win for OM. He picked up the ball to the left of the goal, crossed, and after Jordan Ayew had let the ball cross his body, he struck a low shot back across goal leaving Ochoa with no chance.

Giving the difficulty most teams have when travelling to Ajaccio, this was a very good result. To make it better, this was a very good performance from the team too.

Goals & Highlights

Out of the Coupe de la Ligue

psg 2-0 Marseille

31/10/12 – Parc des Princes, Paris

A very contentious penalty decision left OM a man and a goal down inside the first 30 minutes at the Parc des Princes. A coming together between Fanni and Hoarau on the edge of the area saw the psg man take a tumble, and despite Nkoulou in a covering position referee Antony Gaultier reached for the red and pointed to the spot.

Thiago Silva sent Mandanda the wrong way and netted for the home side from the penalty and it was always going to be difficult from then. Valbuena and Cherou had the best chances for OM in the remainder of the first half, but both were from well outside the box as OM’s 10 men struggled to get past a well organised psg defence.

5 minutes into the second half Menez played the ball into Pastore who played a wonderful lofted pass back to Menez who shot past Mandanda at the near post to make it 2-0 for the hosts. The remainder of the 2nd half saw OM create very little again, Cheyrou hitting the post with a long-distance free-kick, was the closest the visitors came.

After winning the competition 3 years in a row it’s about time Marseille let someone else win it, its just a shame that psg and a referee helped knock OM out.

Highlights and goals

Marseille v Lille – Match Preview

Sun 25/11/12 – 20:00 (UK – Delayed on ESPN)

Stade Velodrome, Marseille

Ref. – Laurent Duhamel

Background –

After a European expedition to be forgotten for both teams, Marseille and Lille may now feel that domestic competitions will take their full focus as they try and prise psg’s grip off the various trophies available. After weeks of poor luck with injuries, suspensions and results OM at least have the positive of welcoming back Loic Remy from injury and Joey Barton is in line to make his Ligue 1 debut.

Marseille –

The Marseille squad for the game consists of: Mandanda, Fabri, Fanni, Abdallah, Diawara, Nkoulou, Mbow, Morel, Cheyrou, Kabore, Barton, Abdullah, A. Ayew, Valbuena, Raspentino, J. Ayew, Remy and Jobello.

The worries over the fitness of Valbuena (back) and Nkoulou (groin) seem to have been overcautious as both were included in the official squad release. Both Mendes and Amalfitano miss out though so if Valbuena and Nkoulou suffer a set-back, the squad will be stretched even further!

The inclusion of Barton in the starting eleven is likely to give a much needed lift to the OM squad and fans alike, as Baup tries to re-discover some of the early season discipline and strength that gave OM so many victories. Barton can support the striking qualities of Remy, with his ability for lofted passes and crosses from wide and deep angles also likely to cause potential problems for Basa and Chedjou in central defence, although there are fitness concerns over the latter and David Rozenhal may deputise.

With out a doubt Marseille’s most dangerous forward player has been Valbuena in recent weeks, with some of his link-up play and close ball control just being a delight to watch. If he can keep himself on his feet more, he will really damage any team on his day, and if he attacks down the right avoiding Debuchy he is likely to see more success.

Likely starting line up:

 

Who are they? –

As mentioned earlier, Lille’s European form has been poor, and their early season Ligue form wasn’t much better. It took them until the 8th week to pick up their 2nd win, but since then their form has improved and so have their results. Last week’s defeat at the hands of Lorient can be taken with a pinch of salt as Lorient are one of those teams who can (and often do) beat anyone on their day.

Aurelien Chedjou has been Lille’s rock at times this season. His performances from centre back have resulted in 3 goals from 16 games so far. On the ground Remy may find it difficult to get past Chedjou, and may stand a better chance in aerial challenges. The class of Dubuchy should go without saying but Andre Ayew will have to play one of his best games of the season if he is to have much luck against him. Up-top, the enigmatic Nolan Roux can be an incredibly difficult striker to play against. He manages to get himself into good positions, albeit sometimes offside ones, and can lose defenders easily, although as his 3 goals from 12 appearances will tell you, he often lacks consistency.

Summary –

With the some of the other top teams slipping up this weekend a god win for either team would keep them within touching distance of the Ligue 1 summit (OM would be joint 1st, whereas Lille would be 3 points behind that). Once again, Marseille will come up against a team that can be disciplined and difficult to break down, however, this is often when they have done well this season. Joey Barton may just be the man to light the blue touch paper and re-ignite Marseille’s season. If he is to do this, he will need to put in his best performance in an OM shirt. Tight game expected, though probably entertaining as it is not broadcast live.

Predicted score: Marseille 2v1 Lille   

Odds (Bet365.com correct at time of publication)

Marseille 2.25

Draw 3.00

Lille 3.50

 

Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

 

Other Ligue 1 Fixtures

Saint-Etienne 1-0 Valenciennes

psg 4-0 Troyes

Reims 0-0 Brest

Rennes 0-1 Evian

Bastia 2-1 Lorient

Nancy 1-1 Ajaccio

Sochaux 0-1 Nice

Montpellier v Bordeaux

Toulouse v Lyon

Bordeaux v Marseille – Match Preview

Sun 18/11/12 – 20:00 (UK – Live on ESPN)

Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux

Ref. – Lionel Jaffredo

Background –

With 3 minutes remaining against Mediterranean neighbours OGC Nice it looked like Marseille had banished their recent slump in form, when ex-OM man Abriel equalised and the game finished 2-2. Elie Baup directed veiled criticism at the team, citing a lack in concentration the reseason for the defeat and explaining that this was something he thought the team had managed to overcome. As he returns to his successful old stomping ground, Baup will have to make sure that there are no lapses in concentration or Bordeaux will punish les phocéens.

Marseille –

Along with the recent devastation of losing Andre-Pierre Gingac through injury, Loic Remy limped off against Nice after only 20 minutes. Ordinarily this would not be helpful for any team, but factor in the continued suspension of Joey Barton, Jordan Ayew’s ban and Amalfitano’s 2 match ban for his ridiculous bust-up with psg’s Matuidi and it is evident that the OM team really are down to the bare bones. Although the return of ex-Bordeaux man Diawara will be some comfort to Baup, he’s not likely to weigh-in with the kind of goals that APG, Remy, Ayew or Amalfitano can produce. An injury to Bracigliano has also prevented the back up ‘keeper from travelling with the squad.

Full team news to follow.

Who are they? –

Without a doubt one of the most (sursprisingly) consistent teams in Ligue 1 this calendar year have been Bordeaux. A 17 match unbeaten run was only recently halted by Newcastle United in the Europa League, and since then they have faltered only once, a 3-1 reverse at Bastia, and have consequently risen to within 2 points of the Ligue 1 summit. With no investment over the summer months and a number of squad players leaving, there are many similarities between how Bordeaux and Marseille prepared for the season.

The work-ethic of this Bordeaux team is one of their strong points, often seeming to swarm at the opposition when not in possession, and they can attack as a unit with frightening pace. 65% of goals for Bordeaux have come in the second half, this will need to be a time when Marseille are particularly focussed in order to avoid another Nice repeat.

The key player in whatever Bordeaux do is Polish international Ludovic Obraniak. The versatile midfielder has already netted 4 times this season and provided 3 assists. Given time Obraniak will hold onto the ball before setting through accurate passes for Jussie or Gouffran. Close him down and he can turn, dribble or pass his way out of trouble. Possibly the best way to combat Obraniak’s effectiveness will be to crowd the centre of midfield, forcing him out wide  and therefore limiting his central passing opportunities. This will require the cooperation and team work of both central midfielders and the two players playing down either flank, of course whilst doing this they can’t afford to forget about the players they ought to be marking too.

Summary –

Marseille’s last ligue victory at Bordeaux came in 1978, and on paper, despite OM’s high placing, it is difficult to imagine anything but that abysmal run continuing. With Marseille, however, anything is possible. Take the recent away win at Ajaccio for example. A nortoriously difficult place to visit and Marseille had a poor record there, but Baup set the team up to dominate the midfield and the players played with determinism and discipline that resulted in a comfortable 2-0 victory. NUFC, played much the same way against Bordeaux in the Europa League, pushing high up the pitch and leaving a huge gulf between the Bordeaux midfield and attack that led to few chances for the strikers. In the current context this may be OM’s most difficult game of the season and a draw would be seen as a good result.

Predicted score: Bordeaux 2v1 Marseille   

Odds (Bet365.com correct at time of publication)

Bordeaux 2.20

Draw 3.10

Marseille 3.50

 

Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

 

Other Ligue 1 Fixtures

Lorient 2v0 Lille

psg v Rennes

Brest v Bastia

Valenciennes v Montpellier

Evian v Saint-Etienne

Ajaccio v Sochaux

Troyes v Nancy

Lyon v Reims

Nice v Toulouse