Tag Archives: Andre Ayew

Marseille – Monaco – 01/09/13 – Match Preview

01/09/13 – 20:00 (UK – Live on BTsport 1)
Ligue 1 – Game 4
Marseille – Monaco
Stade Velodrome, Marseille

As the only side in Ligue 1 with a 100% record, Marseille face their toughest test to date as they face the team that many expect to overtake OM into 2nd spot this season, AS Monaco. OM have had mixed performances so far, with exciting and entertaining football in patches against Guingamp and Evian, replaced by the hard work but dull and efficient performance against Valenciennes. The same can be said about our Mediterranean neighbours. They were clinical and efficient in the season opener against Bordeaux with 2 late goals, entertaining and excellent against Montpellier followed by dull and drab against Toulouse. Sunday’s game will be a clear indicator of the title credentials of either team.

Marseille

Gianelli Imbula who missed out on the game against Valenciennes, but has taken part in some training, is part of the squad and may start. The rest of the squad is expected to be the same, with Payet and Gignac’s confidence boosted with their inclusion in the French national squad for the upcoming internationals along with Mandanda and Valbuena. The late omission of Morel, means it is likely that Mendy will start again, having missed the last 2 games.

Diawara and Morel will be likely to keep their places in defence along with Nkoulou and Fanni. With keeping the same defensive unit for the 3rd game in a row, hopefully their increased understanding and communication with Mandanda will help keep the Monaco attackers at bay.

It is fair to say that Monaco have not yet really been tested since their return to Ligue 1. In their wins over Bordeaux and Montpellier, and goalless draw with Toulouse the apposition have only managed 9 shots on target (Bordeaux (6), Montpellier (3) Toulouse (0)). OM should offer a more clinical attack than those 3 teams, given that OM have averaged 6 shots on target per game so far giving a goal conversion rate of 33%. In other words, give Gignac and Payet chances to shoot and Marseille should score.

Full Marseille squad: Mandanda, Samba, Abdallah, Diawara, Fanni, Mendes, Mendy, Nkoulou, Abdullah, Amalfitano, Cheyrou, Imbula, Romao, Valbuena, J. Ayew, A. Ayew, Gignac, Payet, Khalifa.

Monaco

Claudio Renieri’s team have impressed most so far this season, particularly with how well their many signings have gelled. The quality of Monaco’s signings is not in question, but their ability to grind out a result when facing some of the ligue’s better teams has not yet been seen. Toulouse put up quite a fight and managed to stifle the Monaco creative play and attack, and under this pressure they failed to win. This type of siege mentality is often what awaits teams like psg and Marseille, and if they want to seriously challenge for the title then Monaco will need to find a way past teams.

Marseille will need to be wary of the Monaco set-pieces, with communication between Mandanda and his defence key. This communication has improved game by game, but is still well short of the discipline that saw them keep 7 clean sheets in a row last season.

The OM defence will need to decide how to mark. In previous games, it seems as though Reviere has enjoyed success through the space created by Falcao as the opposition defence have been more worried and preoccupied with the Columbian. OM should perhaps look at man-marking both Reviere and Falcao, and leave any further covering to Imbula/Cheyrou or Romao.

Full Monaco squad: Callard, Romero, Subasic, Abidal, Carvalho, Fabinho, Isimat-Mirin, Kurzawa, Raggi, Tisserand, Ferreria-Carrasco, Moutinho, Obbadi, Ocampos, Pi, Rodriguez, Toulalan, Falcao, Germain, Reviere. 

Summary
Marseille certainly have the history books with them in this fixture having won 20 to Moncao’s 9 at the Stade Velodrome, and OM have only lost 1 of the last 10 meetings between the 2 sides.  Joking aside the atmosphere may be an issue for Monaco. Many teams find the atmosphere at the Velodrome intimidating, and this crowd will certainly be the largest that the Monaco players have faced in Ligue 1 to date. As a result of the quality of players and the atmosphere, I feel that Marseille just have the edge in this fixture, but they will absolutely have to be at their best to overcome a very good Monaco side.  

Stats
Monaco have only kept 1 clean sheet in their last 25 trips to the Velodrome.
Marseille are unbeaten in their last 9 home games.
Monaco are unbeaten in their last 12 away games.
50% of Monaco’s goals have come after the 80th minute.

 

Other Ligue 1 games
Sat 31st  
Evian – Lyon
psg – Guingamp
Sochaux – Ajaccio
Rennes – Lille
Reims – Nantes
Lorient – Valenciennes
Bastia – Toulouse
Sun 1st
Saint-Etienne – Bordeaux
Nice – Montpellier

 

Allez l’OM
Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @aswanny84)

Valenciennes – Marseille – 24/08/13 – Match Preview

24/08/13 – 16:00 (UK – Replayed 25/08/13 08:00 on BTsport 1)
Ligue 1 – Game 3
Valenciennes – Marseille
Stade du Hainault, Valenciennes

VAFC OM

After a fantastic start to the season and a 100% record, OM headed to bitter rivals* Valenciennes only to be humiliated in a 4-1 defeat. This is was happened in week 7 of Ligue 1 last year and Marseille will be keen to avoid a repeat of this abysmal performance. Marseille have again managed a 100% record, winning 2 from 2, Valenciennes have won one and lost one.

Marseille

Giannelli Imbula won’t feature, he was withdrawn at half-time against Evian with an ankle injury. Imbula thankfully returned to training on Thursday, although this was just a fitness session away from the rest of the squad, and it was decided he was not yet recovered enough to feature. 

Having played relatively well against Evian it looks increasingly likely that both Diawara and Morel will keep their starting places ahead of Mendes and Mendy. Failing a injury or suspension to either, we are in the situation where unless they play incredibly poorly, they are likely to keep their places, of course in a tight game a bad performance from either of those players could result in conceding a goal and losing, so for the benefit of the team, we may have to keep them in the 11!

The final new signing of the summer, Saber Khalifa, who missed the games against Guingamp and Evian is fit enough to make it into the squad, although it is not expected that he will start.

As obvious as it may sound, Payet, Valbuena and Andre Ayew should be the focus of OM’s attack. Valenciennes can be susceptible to attacks down the wings and often give away free kicks around the 18-yard box. The close link-up play between Payet/Valabuena and Gignac has been excellent so far this season and their skill and control should help them overcome a Valenciennes defence that conceded 53 goals last season.

Full Marseille team: Mandanda, Smaba, Diawara, Fanni, Mendes, Mendy, Morel, Nkoulou, Amalfitano, Cheyrou, Kadir, Romao, Valbuena, j. Ayew, A. Ayew, Gignac, Payet, Khalifa.

OM formation

Valenciennes

Daniel Sanchez’ team limped to the summer last season, only picking up 19 points from the final 19 games. They will be hoping to secure safety early this term though and push for a top-10 finish. This will be tough for VAFC though who lost Nicola Isimat Mirin (Monaco) and Gael Danic (Lyon). They have signed Bahebeck (psg), Chitu (Vitorul Constanta), Enza Yamissi (Troyes), Doumbia (Wolves), Novaes (Bastia). Out of these signings it is only striker Bahebeck, who is yet to open his scoring account for VAFC, who is most likely to start. Given his first performances he is likely to be involved in VAFC’s build up play and he set up one of the goals in their 3-0 win over Toulouse.

Rudy Mater has had an excellent start to the season. The right-back has pushed forwards helping with the VAFC attacks. As a result, 43% of Valenciennes’ attacks have come down the right this season. Interestingly, 46% of OM’s attacks have come down their left with Andre Ayew (not down the right with new signing Dimitri Payet). This should make for an interesting battle on the Marseille left side, with perhaps the successful team being the one that has the most success here.

Full Valenciennes squad: Novaes, Penneteau, Angoua, Lala, Nery, Mater, Traoré, Chitu, Da Silva, Dossevi, Doumbia, Ducourtioux, Kaboré, Melikson, Saez, Bahebeck, Le Tallec, Nguette.

VAFC Formation

Summary
After having to overcome the 1-4 defeat at the hands of Valenciennes last season in order to push psg close to the title, OM will need to make sure they don’t drop any points needlessly so early on in the season, especially given the start that title contenders Monaco have had. If OM keep their defence tighter, which they did improve in the Evian match, they should have enough in attack to ensure a win.

Stats
Marseille have only won 1 of their last 7 trips to VAFC.
Valenciennes are unbeaten in their last 4 games against OM.
Marseille have conceded 3 or more goals in their last 4 visits to Valenciennes.

 

Other Ligue 1 games
Fri 23rd
Monaco 0-0 Toulouse
Sat 24th
Toulouse – Bordeaux
Montpellier – Sochaux

Lyon – Reims
Bordeaux – Bastia
Evian – Rennes
Guingamp – Lorient
Sun 25th
Lille – Saint-Etienne
Ajaccio – Nice
Nantes – psg

 

Allez l’OM
Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @aswanny84)

*In 1993, the year that Marseille won the Champions League they also won Ligue 1 for the 5th consecutive time. The week of the Champions League final against AC Milan, OM had a game against Valenciennes which, if they won, would mean that they would win the Ligue without having to beat title rivals psg in their final game of the season. Marseille beat Valenciennes 1-0 and as a result secured the Ligue 1 title before going on to beat AC Milan in the final to be crowned European Champions. Unfortunately, though rightly, it emerged that Valenciennes player, Jacques Glassman and two of his team mates had been bribed by OM player Jean-Jacques Eydelie to take it easy in the game between the two sides. In the fall out of the bribery OM were stripped of the Ligue 1 title and relegated. As a result there has always been a little tension between the clubs and fans.

Rennes 2-2 Marseille Match Report – 3 points slipped through our fingers…..

A late Steve Mandanda howler cost OM dearly at Le Stade Route de Lorient as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Rennes. Jordan Ayew’s late strike looked to have been enough to secure the 3 points, but a gaffe by the captain let in Romain Alessandrini to equalise. Overall, the game was a high tempo and exciting affair with not too much between either side. OM can certainly hold regrets though because they had the 3 points in their own hands, but literally let them slip through their gloves……

Early Rennes pressure, but OM  strike first

Rennes were definitely the team who started the match more on the front foot. As early as the first minute Alessandrini put in a dangerous looking cross and OM struggled to settle. Around the 10 minute mark, Danze should’ve scored when he was well placed in the middle, but headed over following a scrumptious Alessandrini cross. Moments later, OM had their first real chance when Gignac fired not too far over on the half volley. Rennes continued their impressive start with Feret shooting just wide, and Alessandrini firing over when he probably should’ve done better.

The visitors managed to ride the early storm though and Rennes had failed to make the most of their chances. OM soon settled down and started passing the ball nicely around the park. Both sides were generally playing to a high level and there was some nice skill and interchanges on show for everyone to see. Despite this, there had been relatively few chances, but OM took the lead about 10 mins before HT. Feret gave the ball away in his own half and N’Koulou sent a superb ball through to Valbuena. He in turn provided a great assist for Andre Ayew to slid the ball home nicely. The Ghanaian should’ve doubled OMs advantage just before the break but he couldn’t get enough power on his shot. Had he scored, it would’ve been a superb team goal because the build up play to the chance was beautiful.

Yet more corner problems……

Rennes started the 2nd period similar to how they did the first – on the front foot. OM had Mevlut Erding to thank for missing two massive opportunities within a fairly short space of time, he should’ve done better. The first Mandanda saved with his foot and the 2nd was just a mishit. The pressure was being applied by the hosts and Alessandrini was their main threat on the left hand side. He was very influential in this match and gave OM problems all night. It was to be his assist which set up the Rennes equaliser, and unsurprisingly it came from a corner. OM had managed to avoid suffering from their achilles heel against Montpellier last week, but it came back to haunt them here when Theophile Catherine headed home unmarked.

It seems to become a regular weekly theme in OM match reports – conceding from set pieces, or more specifically corners. In this instance Jordan Ayew will carry some of the blame, but this corner business is becoming all too commonplace now. The whole team has to take responsibility in addition to the backroom staff. Something is clearly going very wrong when preparing against set pieces. I could go into detail again here, issues such as why was the man on the near post not always situated there? There’s too much to mention but crucially in this instance it got Rennes an easy way back into the game. What followed was an uncomfortable 10 minutes or so where Rennes had plenty of energy and looked dangerous. Again, Alessandrini was the man pulling the strings for the hosts, often putting in some superb crosses.

OM back ahead….but then Mandanda howler

To OMs credit though, they wrestled back the initiative and it was excellent to see Elie Baup clearly ‘going for the win’ instead of being happy with a draw. Amalfitano was brought on in place of Cheyrou, an attacking move which was to prove dividends eventually. Gignac had a shot go wide, Andre Ayew headed just past the post, and Jordan had a shot blocked close to goal. OM were pilling on the pressure and eventually Rennes would crack. Great vision by Valbuena found Amalfitano on the right who crossed into the middle. Jordan Ayew could hardly miss as he turned the ball home giving OM a crucial lead with only 8 mins left in the match.

That should’ve been enough to see OM pick up the 3 points, but there was to be late drama at Le Stade Route de Lorient. Diallo sent in a cross-shot which surprised Mandanda at his near post. The OM captain failed to hold the ball and it deflected against the woodwork – right into the path of Alessandrini who made no mistake turning the ball home. The visitors might’ve had a penalty late on for a foul on Gignac, but the referee wasn’t interested. Instead, Elie Baup’s men were forced to settle for just a draw, when this really should’ve been all 3. He has saved Marseille many times before, but sadly there can be no doubt that failure to win here was on Steve Mandanda’s head.

Goodbye Yann M’Vila

Finally, as a side note and completely nothing to do with anything OM. It was sad but also nice to see Yann M’Vila at the end of the match being paraded around in front of the Rennes fans to say goodbye. I know that he’s had a fractious relationship with the Rennes fans over the last year, so it was nice to see them give him a good send off here. He has been with the club since he was 14 years old and unfortunately this is a typical example of ligue 1 failing to hold onto its best players. M’Vila is an absolute beast in my opinion, and last year one of the best players in the ligue without doubt. It’s a shame for Ligue 1 to continually lose such great talent, he will be a fine asset for Rubin Kazan.

Player ratings and notes :-

Mandanda 3/10 – His mistake at the end cost OM bigtime, enough said.

Morel 4/10 – On the positive side, when going forwards he can be useful. Whilst he does do some good things at the back, the times when he makes mistakes can be costly.

N’Koulou 5/10 – Great pass to help set up the move leading to 1st goal. Defensively ok without being anything special

Mendes 4/10 – An improvement upon last week, but that was never going to be hard for him to achieve. I have my doubts about him at CDEF, he looks too raw and makes too many mistakes.

Fanni 5/10 – Made some good ventures going forwards. At the back he was adequate enough, although had problems with Alessandrini at times.

Barton 5/10 – Relatively quiet performance by him here, he kept things ticking along in midfield at times though.

Cheyrou 5/10 – Similar to Barton, kept things ticking along at times without being spectacular.

Valbuena 7/10 – OM’s best player here and grew as the match wore on. Supplied a great assist for the first and played a key part in the build up to the 2nd goal.

Andre Ayew 6/10 – Nice finish for the first goal, but should’ve scored more. He also made a couple of errors when defending set pieces.

Gignac 4/10 – Below par day for him. He missed chances and failed to look for a pass sometimes when instead was too greedy.

Jordan Ayew 5/10 – The positive is he scored again – but when placed more centrally as a striker. I’m convinced he just isn’t as effective as a right winger. His poor marking also cost OM a goal.

Amalfitano 6/10 -Came on as a sub for Cheyrou in the 72nd min and made a difference, supplied the assist for the 2nd goal.

Rennes player ratings :-

Costil 5/10
Mavinga 7/10
Kan Biyik 5/10
Theophile Catherine 6/10
Foulquier 4/10
Makoun 5/10
Alessandrini 8/10 – Man of the match
Danze 5/10
Feret 5/10
Diallo 5/10
Erding 3/10

Goals and highlight link

Steve (@Meatmansoccer)