Winning 3/4’s of pre-season games so far, was a very welcome return for the start of Bielsa’s reign at OM, though a 1-1 draw against AS Bari left the statistics looking slightly poorer than they should have. A final game against Chievo Verona, would at least offer the opportunity to get back to winning ways ahead of the season and keep up an unbeaten pre-season record.
Sun 2nd August – 19:00
Marseille 3-1 Chievo Verona (Thauvin, Nkoulou, Gignac: Bertivoglio)
Stade de Fargues, Le Ponet, Avignon
Romao Nkoulou Morel
Dja Djedje Ayew Mendy
Payet Batshuayi Thauvin
Subs: Samba, Abergel, Sparagna, Alessandrini, Amalfitano, Cheyrou, Gignac
Despite difficult conditions throughout the game, Marseille kept their nerve and kept their unbeaten record intact, seeing off Cheivo Verona 3-1 thanks to goals from Thauvin, Nkoulou and Gignac to round off an extremely successful pre-season.
As with previous per-season games, Marseille started strong and kept possession well, getting into a number of exciting positions, creating chances early on. Seculin, in the Cheivo goal had been called into action a few times early on, making some good saves, but in the 17th minute, Thauvin cut in from the left and shot well for the opening goal.
The remainder of the first half continued in much the same way, but with the OM attacking players beginning to demonstrate more and more confidence, Payet in particular. Unfortunately, despite a number of half chances, Marseille couldn’t increase their advantage.
In the second half, OM opened the scoring through an Nkoulou header from Thauvin’s corner. This represents a good pre-season for Nkoulou, who had a shaky end to last season and a rather indifferent world cup with Cameroon. After much debate about his future, he seems to have settled into Bielsa’s routine and squad, and having had a goal disallowed against Bari, he made up for it against Cheivo.
Unfortunately, OM were unable to keep a clean sheet as Bentivoglio scored a stunner in the 65th minute. But, as the conditions continued to deteriorate, Gignac netted his 2nd goal of the pre-season as he capitalised on a Chievo defensive mistake.
Goals for: 15
Goals against: 4
1: Payet, Amalfitano, Imbula, Cheyrou, Nkoulou
OG: Reinartz (Bayer04)
1: Amalfitano, Batshuayi, A. Ayew
Pitch time (in minutes):
382: Dja Djedje
155: Amalfitano, Cheyrou