Marseille made it 1000 Ligue 1 wins and 3 Ligue 1 wins in a row as they saw off Montpellier to go 4th in the ligue standings. A first half Thauvin strike, followed up with a cheeky injury time goal from Khalifa secured the 3 points.
Elie Baup made a number of changes to the side that lost 0-2 to Arsenal mid-week, with Diawara, Mendy, Cheyrou, Payet, Valbuena and Thauvin all starting the game.
The game started evenly, Montpellier not put off by the bad knee injury sustained by Bakar within the first minute. Bakar’s replacement Montano shot wide in the game’s first real chance after he managed to sneak in behind the OM defence.
Thauvin had OM’s first real chance but Jourdren saved well from close range. He also did well to deny Gignac and Velbuena in close succession shortly after too.
Marseille broke the deadlock in the 36th minute as Abdallah crossed towards Payet. The Montpellier defence failed to clear though and Payet’s pressure meant the ball dropped to Thauvin who neatly side-footed home from just outside the 6 yard box. This was Thauvin’s 8th goal in 8 games for club and country as he seems to have captured the form that made him such a hot prospect last season.
As the second half started and progressed Montpellier pushed for an equaliser but struggled to really test Mandanda. As they tried in vain to get in behind the OM defence their through-balls were played from too deep and were often over-hit.
As the game neared the end Baup brought off Valbuena and Cheyrou in place of Lemina and Imbula and both showed positive composure and class in the closing minutes, suggesting that the master class from Arsenal mid-week hadn’t affected their confidence too much. As Baup tried to wind the clock down he brought on Khalifa in place of Payet. Khalifa netted in the last minute of added time. Thauvin was again involved as he played the ball into Khalifa from the right. Khalifa received the ball on the edge of the box and as Congre put him under pressure he calmly nutmegged him, slotting past Jourdren for his first OM goal.
Up next for OM is Lille on Tuesday evening as Thauvin returns to the club he never played for. More at stake though is that Lille currently occupy 3rd spot and are 3/6 points ahead (to be amended dependant on Saturday night’s game).