Sochaux 3-1 OM – visitors in poor display at wintry Stade Bonnal

Marseille’s 2013 ligue campaign got off to a poor start as they went down to a 1-3 away defeat against Sochaux. In a game which was played in harsh wintry conditions, the south coast outfit failed to adjust properly and it was Sochaux who got ‘stuck in’ more on their way to picking up 3 points. OM couldn’t even find a way to score against 10 men for over half an hour in the 2nd half, which summed up their evening.

The opening exchanges were fairly even and both teams seemed fairly lively. Valbuena and Gignac were most prominent for OM, with the former often roaming from position on either wing and putting in some good crosses. For Sochaux, Corchia looked dangerous on the right hand side and was giving Jeremy Morel a few problems.

OM struggle in the snow….and from set pieces again

Snow was falling form the skies at kick off, but around the 15 minute mark it became even heavier and was soon lining the pitch, making life difficult for the more technical players especially. Sochaux opened the scoring in the 15th minute thanks to a Privat header. Surprise surprise, the origin was from a corner as OM’s nightmares defending set pieces continued. Diawara was static and can be held party responsible for poor marking. But can someone please tell me why a man was on the back post and not at the front for an out swinging corner? To me, that just doesn’t make sense and had there been a man on the front post, the goal might’ve arguably been prevented.

Just 5 minutes later, OM looked a mess again from another set piece situation, but were saved by an offside flag. The first real chance for Elie Baup’s men came halfway through the first period when Jordan Ayew should’ve done better when well placed inside the area, but his shot was tame. Not long after this, Roudet nearly gifted the visitors an equaliser as his attempted clearance behind for a corner was a whisker away from the post. OM were then extremely close to making it 1-1 from that same resulting corner when Diawara crashed a header hit the post, and then subsequently the ball cleared off the line by Sauget.


Defensive howlers as Sochaux take control

Conditions at this stage of the game were poor and it was clear to see it suited Sochaux more because of this. Marseille just couldn’t adapt well enough in the snow, although they still looked arguably the most threatening team. The hosts grabbed a 2nd goal 5 minutes before HT though, which would prove to be a killer blow. The origin was from a free kick on the right hand side (quelle surprise!!!!!). The wall seemed to be lined up wrong and somehow the delivery forced Mandanda into making an instinctive save. Joey Barton was static on the rebound, losing his man Bakambu and the Sochaux winger finished well to make it 2-0.

The snow had stopped come the start of the 2nd period and the pitch swept looking in better condition. OM started the half just as they’d finished the previous one though – on the back foot. An innocuous looking cross was sent into the box and inexplicably Jeremy Morel scored a terrible own goal, diverting the ball past Mandanda. That made it 3-0 and was pretty much gamer over. To OM’s credit they didn’t give up though. Barton had a shot cleared off the line and the likes of Gignac and the Ayew’s showed more encouraging signs after the break. Jordan Ayew reduced the deficit in the 55th minute when his fizzing shot went straight through Pouplin’s gloves. I’ve seen worse keeper errors, but that goal is definitely on his head as far as Sochaux fans are concerned.


Lopy red card, but OM can’t take advantage

OM were given a major lifeline on the hour mark when Lopy was sent off for a 2nd bookable offence. He could have no complaints, both fouls were deserving of yellows, and indeed I’ve even seen reds given for his latter tackle on Gignac. Marseille had impetus following this dismissal and could’ve pulled another back not long afterwards, but N’Koulou’s header came back off the post. Gignac had another headed opportunity a minute later and it seemed as though the Mediterranean giants were really knocking on the door, possibly on their way to producing a great comeback.

But they failed to make the extra man count and played disappointingly in the last 20 minutes. Morel had a decent volley saved on the 70’ mark but they failed to create anything else of substantiability until the final stages of the encounter. It was Sochaux who should’ve made it 4-1 actually, but Mandanda did well to save Butin’s effort. Fanni headed just wide and Mendes hit the post for OM in stoppage time, but by then it would’ve been too late anyway for the visitors. They had remarkably hit the woodwork 3 times, and this rather summed up their disappointing evening at Le Stade Bonnal.

Player ratings and notes :-

Mandanda 5/10 – He conceded 3 times, but cant be held responsible for any of them really. Generally looked assured and even prevented the scoreline from being even more embarrassing for OM late on.

Morel 3/10 – A lot of OM fans might give him something like 1/10 here. The horrendous own goal is of course what everyone will remember. Admittedly he was very poor defensively in this match, often out of position. However, he did play much better from an offensive point of view, supported the attack well and put in some good crosses.

N’Koulou 5/10 – Compared to the rest of the defence he was ok enough, but there were issues at the back for OM here and he didn’t really step up to deal with the problems enough.

Diawara 4/10 – He is only saved from receiving a lower rating here because of his offensive contribution. He does cause problems when he goes forward, but defensively he was too static and below par. His poor concentration cost OM the first goal, and it all went downhill from there.

Fanni 5/10 Can’t really be blamed for too much and managed his side of the field fairly well. But he was too quiet and offered little going forwards in support.

Cheyrou 4/10 Never got into the game much and his set pieces were generally poor. Just didn’t get stuck in enough.

Barton 3/10 – Of all the OM players out there I expected him to adapt to snowy conditions really well. But he was shocking and really struggled in the first half making a number of poor passes. He cost OM the 2nd goal due to poor concentration and was overall far below par.

Valbuena 4/10 – Tried hard enough but these sort of conditions were never going to suit him in a million years. He struggled desperately to deal with the snow and cold. Misplaced too many passes and his crosses were generally poor.

Andre Ayew 3/10 – I didn’t even know he was on the field in the first half, he hardly got involved at all. After the break he improved, but he continues his fairly poor season in which much more was expected out of him.

Jordan Ayew 5/10 – Much like his brother, he was very quiet in the first half and missed a big chance to equalise. His rating is saved by scoring a decent goal, even if the keeper should’ve saved it. He woke up much more in the 2nd half.

Gignac 7/10 – OM’s best player on the night and deserved a goal. He was the only real player in attack who showed energy, drive, motivation and a determination to try and make something happen. Put in some nice crosses, and passes, on another day he might have easily found the net.

Sochaux team ratings :-

Pouplin 6/10
Corchia 8/10
Paybernes 6/10
Poujol 6/10
Sauget 8/10
Lopy 3/10
Bakambu 6/10
Mikari 4/10
Dias 6/10
Roudet 5/10
Privat 7/10

An honourable mention to David Suaget for a superb defensive performance. He made several key blocks and interceptions, it was a really good captains display.

But MOM here was Sebastien Corchia who caused OM loads of problems on the right hand side. Showed great energy and produced one hell of a wing back performance in both an offensive and defensive sense.


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