Monthly Archives: July 2015

Marseille 1v2 Livorno (Friendly)

Marseille 1-2 Livorno

(Sarr pen.; Fedato, Maicon)

Pele – Dubois, Tuiloma, Andonian, Sane – Romao – Sarr, Baradda – Ocampos, Batshuayi, Nkoudou

Subs: Aloe, Abergel, Dja Djedje, Boutobba

Subs N/U: Escales

With only 2 players starting from the previous friendly line-ups, Bielsa opted for an inexperienced Marseille line-up against the Italian Livorno side. The defense in particular looking extremely inexperienced, however, it is some valuable game time for these players ahead of a season where they will undoubtedly be called upon at some point with a heavy fixture schedule with the additional pressures of Europa League football.

The first goal came once Livorno had broken down the right. The cross from the by-line was nodded to the far post by Fedato, and Pele could only watch helplessly as the ball bounced in off the post.

With the usual raft of substitutions at half time, OM brought on some more experience with Dja Djedje and Boutobba alongside Aloe and Abergel adding to their pre-season time (the latter just before making a move to AC Ajaccio).

After a clumsy pull in the box, Sarr stepped up to take the resulting OM penalty and coolly netted the equaliser.

Unfortunately less than 10 minutes later, Livorno had again taken the lead. Maicon with an excellent run from deep, playing a 1-2 before netting around Pele.  It did seem as though he was given too much space through the centre as he ran, and you would expect Romao to be protecting the centre of defence in a more disciplined manner, however this was a friendly with a vastly changed squad.

It will be interesting to see how OM line up and perform against last seasons Champions League finalists, Juventus, at the Velodrome at the weekend.

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Pre season stats:

Goals:
Batshuayi 3
Thauvin 2
Alessandrini 2
Sarr 2
Ocampos 1
Boutobba 1
Lemina 1

Playing time:
Sarr – 270
Dja Djedje – 260
Mandanda – 243
Sparagna – 230
Barrada – 225
Batshuayi – 212
Rekik – 209
Ocampos – 207
Lemina – 195
Nkoulou – 180
Alessandrini – 180
Sane – 178
Nkoudou – 178
Mendy – 170
Aloe – 168
Tuiloma – 163
Thauvin – 149
Romao – 135
Pele – 117
Boutobba – 100
Andonian – 79
Dubois – 83
Abergel – 29

Antalyaspor 2-5 Marseille

Antalysaspor 2v5 Marseille
(Simsek, Chico; Lemina, Alessandrini 2, Batshuayi, Sarr)
Mandanda – Sparagna, Nkoulou, Rekik – Dja Djedje, Lemina, Mendy – Barrada – Thauvin, Batshuayi, Alessandrini
Subs: Andonian, Aloe, Tuiloma, Dubois, Sane, Boutobba, Nkoudou, Pele, Sarr
Subs N/U: Escales, Romao, Ocampos

After the defeat at the hands of Fenerbahce, it was important to get the pre-season on course again to hit the Ligue 1 groiund running, and that’s exactly what OM did as they swept aside Turkish Super Lig side Antalyaspor.
Despite the lack of difficulty that the opposition provided it was good to see more positives from OM with Lemina, Alessandrini, Thauvin and Sparagna in particular continuing to impress ahead of the new season.
As would be expected in an OM game, Marseille kept control of the possession well, showing that Bielsa will continue with this sort of game plan next term, though it will be interesting to see if his pre-season option of a 3-3-1-3 formation (as like last pre-season) continues into Ligue 1, whereas last year this fell by the wayside relatively early on.
OM started well and found themselves 3-0 just after 30 minutes. Well worked and excellently taken goals from Lemina and Alessandrini were followed up by a good strike from Batshuayi who showed strength and determination to turn the defence and shoot.
After a wealth of changes from both sides, Antalyaspor started the second half brightly and were soon rewarded with a well struck goal from Simsek. Minutes later though Alessandrini extended the OM lead with an excellent solo effort, akin to the likes he seemed to score at Rennes.
Sarr’s goal was another well worked goal as some neat play down the left saw Mendy cut a cross back and Sarr powered home the finish.
Antalysapor reduced the arrears just before the end, but it can’t take away from an emphatic attacking performance for OM. Bielsa will be buoyed with the result and much of the performance, but thankfully the acquisition of Manquillo will hopefully help to solidify the defence, who are still allowing the opposition in behind all too often.

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Pre season stats:

Goals:
Batshuayi 3
Thauvin 2
Alessandrini 2
Ocampos 1
Boutobba 1
Lemina 1
Sarr 1

Playing time:
Mandanda – 243
Sparagna – 230
Dja Djedje – 215
Rekik – 209
Lemina – 195
Nkoulou – 180
Sarr – 180
Barrada – 180
Alessandrini – 180
Mendy – 170
Batshuayi – 167
Thauvin – 149
Aloe – 123
Ocampos – 117
Sane – 88
Nkoudou – 88
Tuiloma – 73
Boutobba – 55
Romao – 45
Andonian – 34
Pele – 27
Dubois – 22

Fenerbahce 3 – 1 Marseille

Fenerbahce 3-1 Marseille
(Diego, Sow, Fernandao; Thauvin)
Mandanda (cap) – Sparagna, Nkoulou, Rekik – Dja Djedje, Lemina, Mendy – Sarr, Barrada, Alessandrini – Ocampos
Subs: Batshuayi, Thauvin, Tuiloma, Nkoudou
Subs n/u: Andonian, Aloe, Escales, Romao, Dubois, Sane, Boutobba, Pele

OM’s first test of the pre-season came in the Afyon Cup against hosts Fenerbahce. Fenerbahce are way ahead of OM in terms of their preparedness for the season, with games in the Champions League qualifiers to contend with whereas OM are only counting down to the 8th August for the Ligue 1 season opener against Caen.

This readiness showed from the kick off as the Turkish side pressed and challenged the OM defense early on. A Lemina hand-ball near the edge of the box allowed the hosts a free-kick which Diego neatly put away. A well finished goal, although Mandanda may be disappointed that he couldn’t get closer to it.

Pre season stats:
Goals:
Batshuayi 2
Thauvin 2
Ocampos 1
Boutobba 1

Playing time:
Mandanda – 180
Sparagna – 150
Nkoulou – 135
Rekik – 135
Sarr – 135
Barrada – 135
Dja Djedje – 135
Ocampos – 117
Lemina – 105
Thauvin – 90
Alessandrini – 90
Batshuayi – 90
Mendy – 90
Aloe – 78
Sane – 78
Nkoudou – 75
Romao – 45
Boutobba – 45
Tuiloma – 42
Andonian – 18
Dubois – 12

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Etoile Sportive du Sahel 1v5 Marseille

Etiole Sportive du Sahel 1-5 Marseille

(Bounedjah pen.; Thauvin, Ocampos, Batshuayi 2, Boutobba)

1st half team: Mandanda (cap) – Aloé, Nkoulou, Rekik, Sane – Sparagna – Lemina, Thauvin – Nkoudou, Ocampos, Alessandrini.
2nd half team: Mandanda – Djadjédjé, Aloé (Tuiloma, 78), Sparagna (Andonian, 72), Sane (Dubois, 78) – Romao, Boutobba – Sarr, Barrada, Ocampos (Nkoudou, 72) – Batshuayi.

OM’s first friendly brought a comfortable win against Tunisian side Sahel, in Sousse. The relief of it being Bielsa who got to name the squad is huge amongst OM fans, and the worry over summer sales, questionable investment and delays in contract signing had most of us panicked!

As expected in any friendly Bielsa names a rather predictable squad for the first half, before making 9 changes for the 2nd half.

The pairing of new-boy Rekik and experienced Nkoulou seemed to work relatively well and kept the home side at bay, creating very little in the 1st half other than shots from distance. Warning signs are there early on though as Sahel managed to find a way in behind the OM defence as had been the case too often over the past few seasons. The man with perhaps the biggest shoes to fill, and the biggest point to prove (if he stays), opened the scoring for the visitors charging in to score after Alessandrini’s corner was only half cleared.

Shortly after the break, some neat work from Sarr on the right saw Ocampos continue where he left off at the end of last season as he neatly flicked the ball past the Sahel ‘keeper at the near post. Minutes later, Batshuayi showed his coolness, composure and confidence as he first held his position to spring the offside trap played by a high Sahel defensive line, then took the ball past the ‘keeper on the edge of the box, took past one defender and then slotted home.

Boutobba’s goal was far more straight forward as he reacted first to a saved shot and fired the ball into the roof of the net.

Sahel managed to give the full home crowd something to cheer about in the 83rd minute as they netted a rather dubious penalty. My knowledge isn’t as good as it could be, however, laying off the ball for someone else to score, is not a conventional way of taking penalties.

Bathsuayi’s second of the game also came from a nice through ball. As he closed in on the ‘keeper he cheekily lifted the ball over the approaching Jebali to give OM a convincing 5-1 victory.

On a side note, it was interesting to note that as far as we are aware neither Marseille nor the French foreign office advised against people travelling to Sousse for the game. This, of course, only a week or so after the British government advised people against flying to the area and were actively evacuating British nationals out of the area due to what they deemed to be an imminent terrorist attack.

Our thoughts and prayers of course go out to all of those affected by the incident in Sousse on 26th June.

Goals:

Batshuayi 2

Thauvin 1

Ocampos 1

Boutobba 1

Playing time:

Mandanda – 90

Aloe – 78

Sane – 78

Sparagna – 72

Ocampos – 72

Nkoudou – 63

Nkoulou – 45

Rekik – 45

Lemina – 45

Thauvin – 45

Alessandrini – 45

Dja Djedje – 45

Romao – 45

Boutobba – 45

Sarr – 45

Barrada – 45

Batshuayi – 45

Andonian – 18

Tuiloma – 12

Dubois – 12