Tag Archives: Barton

Parisian Party Postponed as OM Pick Up The Points

04/05/13 – 16:00 (UK)

Marseille 2-1 Bastia

Stade Velodrome, Marseille – Att. 35,687


Team: Mandanda – Abdallah, Nkoulou, Mendes, Morel – Barton, Romao – Amalfitano (’62 Sougou), Valbuena, J. Ayew (’85 Kadir) – Gignac 2

A much changed Marseille squad managed another win to make sure psg can’t mathematically win the ligue this weekend, and give themselves every chance of securing champions league football next week. Two goals from Gignac gave Marseille the 2-1 win in a game that was surprisingly one sided, in favour of OM.

After a lively opening 10 minutes with half chances for both sides it was Gignac who opened the scoring, excellently netting for his 12th of the season.

An excellent run from Jordan Ayew, brought him infield where he played in Valbuena. Gignac had already found some space on the right and as Valbuena played him in, and Gignac cut inside onto his left foot and curled the ball into the far post past Landreau. The goal was typical, trademark Gignac, hanging on the line of the last defender in an off-centre position before cutting inside and shooting.

Immediately after the goal Marseille, perhaps uncharacteristicly, threatened a number of times, firstly Gignac was flagged offside when one-on-one with Landreau, before a Lucas Mendes header connected with the cross bar.

For the remainder of the half Bastia failed to threaten Mandanda’s clean sheet streak, with only a poor header from ex-OM man Maoulida and a speculative volley from Modeste coming close. The game should have been well beyond Bastia by half time though, as Gignac still had time to fire a volley of the bar before half time.

Immediately after half time it looked like Marseille might live to regret those missed opportunities as Bastia equalised within 50 seconds. Mandanda was beaten by Thauvin after breaking through the middle and unleashing a superb strike from 25 yards that just evaded the hands of Mandanda as it flew into the far corner. As good as the goal was to end Mandanda’s clean sheet streak, which lasted almost 700 minutes, questions have to be asked of Mendes who backed off and Romao who looked rather sluggish when tracking back.

After yet more wasted chances from Amalfitano, who shot straight at Landreau from close-range, and Jordan Ayew who couldn’t direct a header on target, Marseille were nearly punished again. Former player Maoulida had the ball past Mandanda, only to have his goal correctly ruled out for offside.

The introduction of Sogou for Amalfitano gave OM a little more pace in attack. He almost netted within minutes as Valbuena played him through, and although his shot had the beating of Landreau, Palmeieri managed to get in the way to divert the ball for a corner.

With Bastia looking to play out for a draw and happy to run down the clock, Gignac struck again with another excellent goal. As OM broke down field following a Bastia corner, Valbuena picked out Gignac on the right wing. As Gignac powered into the box and past the covering Palmeieri he struck a well-placed shot into the far corner past Landreau, to score his 13th of the season.


The win means that Marseille are guaranteed to finish next weekend in 2nd place and only need 2 more points 2 guarentee finishing ahead of Saint-Etienne. The win was even sweeter as it meant psg couldn’t win the ligue title at home this weekend and came with 3 major changes to the starting 11. Elie Baup should have a full choice squad available for the visit of Toulouse next week, and Gignac will hope to continue his good form with a goal or two against his former club.

Man of the match – Valbuena. 2 assists from the little guy and a constant threat when on the ball. One of the most comfortable games he’s had in recent weeks, helping the team break by acting as an effective link between the defence and attack. Could also have assisted a few more goals if jAyew and Sougou had managed to convert their chances too.

Elie Baup: ‘We would have preferred not to have conceded early in the 2nd half, but we showed our intentions from the outset, creating a lot of scoring chances and the fans were treated to a good match. We have never spoken about the title as Paris have had it reserved for a very long time.’

Goals & highlights

Allez l’OM (Swanny @MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)



Marseille v Brest – 20/04/13 – Match Preview

20/4/13 –16:00 (UK)
Marseille v Brest
Stade Velodrome, Marseille
Ref. – Benoit Bastien

Marseille will keep up their hopes up of Champions League football as they face relegation threatened Stade Brestois at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday afternoon. Recent wins over Nice and Bordeaux coupled with difficult away draws with Lyon and Lille have put OM in a good position to finish 2nd ahead of Lyon. Brest on the other hand are looking to avoid a 6th successive defeat, during which they have conceded 2 or more goals 4 times, twice suffering 0-4 losses.

Olympique de Marseille

With Lyon’s last gasp winner against Montpellier on Friday evening, Marseille need a win to finish the weekend in 2nd place and keep a little pressure on psg. Elie Baup has no new injury concerns after last weeks return of Mathieu Valbuena.
The full Marseille squad for the game is made up of: Mandanda, Samba, Fanni, Diawra, Nkoulou, Mendes, Morel, Abdallah, Cheyrou, Romao, Barton, Amalfitano, Valbuena, A. Ayew, Kadir, Sougou, J. Ayew and Gignac.
The efficiency of OM recently has seen them continue with positive results despite only registering 2 goals in the last 5 games. This consistency of results has been helped with solid defensive displays despite numerous questions over the ability and form of Mandanda, Nkoulou, Mendes and Morel all season.
A big win would help improve the confidence further as we reach the final 5 games, and really would help with the push for Champions League football next season.
Likely starting line up and formation:

Fanni Nkoulou Mendes Morel
Cheyrou Romao
Sougou Valbuena A. Ayew

Stade Brestois 29

Brest’s poor form since the winter break has seen them slide from 13th to 19th, they have spent the last 3 weeks in the relegation zone. With only 2 wins and 2 draws since the winter break, and with games against Sochaux, psg and Nancy coming up, Landry Chauvin really needs his team to start putting some results together.
Marseille will need to be wary of the long ball from Brest as they look to play in Benschop with attacking support from Touré and Raspentino.
Despite their form, Brest’s last 3 wins have all come away from home, against Sochaux, Evian and Bordeuax. They have a tendency to start and end games well scoring 7 (24%) of their goals in the first 15 minutes and 18 (62%) of their goals in the final 30 minutes!
The player to watch for Brest will surely be Florian Raspentino. Having signed in the summer for Marseille and after barely being given a chance, Raspentino was shipped out on loan to Brest. Since then he has started 12 games for them and netted 3 times, showing promising pace, skills and shooting accuracy as well as an astute positioning sense. It goes without saying that he would probably enjoy showing Elie Baup and the Velodrome faithful what they have been missing this season.
Brest likely starting line-up and formation:

Traoré Martial Kantari Mendy
Auras Sissoko
Touré Grougi Raspentino

At the Stade Velodrome, Brest have never registered a win, Marseille registering 7 against 2 draws. Last seasons 1-1 draw came amid OM’s terrible start to the season and Mandanda gifted Brest the lead within the first 5 minutes. Andre Ayew rescued OM on that day and hopefully both of those players will be back at their best today.
Predicted score: Marseille 2-0 Brest

Selected odds (Bet365 correct at time of publication)
Marseille: 1.36
Draw: 4.50
Brest: 9.00

Weekend Fixtures:
Montpellier 1v2 Lyon
Bastia v Lille
Reims v Valenciennes
Toulouse v Lorient
Nancy v Evian
Sochaux v Bordeaux
psg v Nice
Coupe de la Ligue: Saint-Etienne v Rennes

Allez l’OM
Swanny (@Andrew_js3 & @MarseilleUK)

Marseille v Ajaccio – 15/03/13 – Match Preview

Fri 15/03/13 – 19:30 (UK – Replayed on ESPN 07:45 Sat)

Stade Velodrome, Marseille

Ref. – Nicola Rainville


Background –

Marseille play on a rare Friday evening as they look to keep hold of 3rd place, taking on mid-table AC Ajaccio. A disciplined performance ensured that OM weren’t beaten by OL last Sunday although les Phoceens will be disappointed that they didn’t take all 3 points after dominating large parts of the game. A draw may have been fair on reflection, and it also takes the pressure off a 1st place finish, perhaps allowing OM to concentrate on keeping hold of a Champions League place. A Champions League place is imperative now given recent reports from within the camp that both Valbuena and Nkoulou would be more likely to leave without the promise of Champions League matches, and also given the recent publications from the excellent ‘Swiss Ramble’ showing the difference between Champions League and Europa League in terms of incoming revenue for French teams.

The 2 goals from Andre Ayew in lasts season’s week 11, 2-0 win for Marseille coincided with their dramatic mid-season turnaround, and given the history between the 2 teams Marseille certainly have the upper hand with 8 wins to Ajaccio’s 1 at the Stade Velodrome.


Marseille –

The bore-draw against Lyon could be seen as a negative, however, I would like to think of the positives that the team, players and fans could take from this. Defensively, Marseille were disciplined, giving away very little and allowing Lyon few clear-cut chancers on goal. Many in the media have criticised Marseille as becoming a ‘boring team’ (I still feel that Toulouse and Bordeaux wear that crown), but Elie Baup has managed well with what he has. Attacking wise, OM have looked far more interesting with the inclusion of Sougou along with the effervescent Valbuena. Defensively we have looked a little suspect throughout the season, but as Romao or Cheyrou continue to develop an ever improving partnership with Barton, it is surely only a matter of time before the possession play and link up between defensive and attack becomes a great deal more pleasing on the eye.

Elie Baup is still without Amalfitano (knee), but Morel and Cheyrou are still expected to feature despite recent knocks. The Full squad consists of: Mandanda, Samba, Fanni, Abdallah, Diawara, Nkoulou, Mendes, Morel, Barton, Cheyrou, Romao, Abdullah, A. Ayew, Valbuena, Kadir, Gignac, Sougou and J. Ayew.

Given Ajaccio’s weaknesses it would seem this is another game to get Valbuena and Sougou running at the opposition defence. Attacking with pace has caused ACA a number of problems this season and OM should look to exploit this, particularly at home.

Likely starting line-up:


Fanni Nkoulou Mendes Morel

Barton Romao

Sougou Valbuena A. Ayew



Who are they? –

Former Marseille man Albert Emon brings his Ajaccio team to the Velodome hoping to pick up their first win in 8 years there. Having won the Ligue as OM’s striker in 71-72, he never managed to lift any silverware when in charge managing runners up spot and a French cup final spot too.

Emon will be without the suspended  Andre and Oliech, along with the injured Oberhausser and Pierazzi. Althou Chalme returns from suspension.

Ajaccio come into this game having lost 2 of their last 3 games and have won only 1 in their last 4, beating Lorient last week 1-0. They sit 12th in the away ligue tables having won only 2 of their 14 away games, drawing 6 and losing a further 6.

Ajaccio can be deadly on the counter attack, so this is something that OM must look out for if they keep the same high defensive line adopted in a number of the recent matches.  Set pieces have also challenged Ajaccio’s oppenents this season, and we don’t need to be reminded about Marseille’s weakness to these!

Likely Ajaccio line up and formation:


Lippini Zubar Poulard Bouhours

Mostefa Lasne

Belghazouani Cavalli Sammaritano



Summary –

A win for Marseille will help keep them in position for a Champions League spot, which is perhaps realistically the best that can be hoped for this season. Given that Lyon have a tricky trip to Bastia and psg and Saint-Etienne could cancel each other out, this could be a great weekend for Marseille, however they need to start it well and that would come through a convincing win and performance.


Predicted score: Marseille 3-0 Ajaccio  

Odds (Bet365.com correct at time of publication)

Marseille 1.44

Draw 4.00

Ajaccio 8.00


Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)


Other Ligue 1 games

Bastia v Lyon

Lille v Evian

Lorient v Brest

Montpellier v Troyes

Reims v Rennes

Sochaux v Valenciennes

Nancy v Nice

Toulouse v Bordeaux

Saint-Etienne v psg