Tag Archives: Cheyrou

Pre-season Part III: Marseille 5-0 Willem II

Having seen off notable opposition in previous friendlies in the form of Bayer Leverkusen and Benfica, OM had faced what should be an easier opposition in the form of Dutch side Willem II. Despite spending last season in the Dutch 2nd division, they earned promotion back to the Eredivisie at the first time of asking, having finished 1st last season.

via OM.net

Sun 27th July – 18:00

Marseille 5-0 Willem II (Thauvin, Imbula, Batshuayi 2, Cheyrou)

Stade Olympique, Albertville

Samba

Dja Djedje  Romao  Morel  Mendy

Payet  Lemina  Imbula

Thauvin  Gignac  Alessandrini

Subs: Mandanda, Nkoulou, Sparagna, Amalfitano, Bangoura, Cheyrou, Porsan-Clement, A. Ayew, Batshuayi

 

Playing a more traditional 4-3-3 formation, Marcelo Bielsa welcomed Mandanda, Nkoulou and Andre Ayew back to the match day squad, although none were deemed fit enough to start from the beginning. They all played their part in an emphatic win though as OM hit 5 past their Dutch opposition, with Thauvin scoring and assisting and new signing Batshuayi netting his 2nd and 3rd goals in 3 OM games.

The game started evenly with both Samba and Ondaan being called into action early on. As the first half progressed though OM began to take control. After giving away a free-kick just outside their penalty area, Thauvin made Willem II pay, as he curled the free-kick into the near post leaving Ondaan clutching fresh air.

Taking over Payet’s recent role as master-creator, Thauvin then set up Marseille’s 2nd goal 4 minutes later. His run down the right and hold up before crossing allowed OM players to swarm the box, Thauvin’s accurate cross found Imbula who chested down before shooting past 3 Willem II players.

OM could have made it 3 before half-time with Imbula and Alessandrini both going close, before some excellent play between Mendy, Gignac and Alessandrini saw OM go agonisingly close again.

Half-time brought about the usual raft of changes with Batshuayi replacing Gignac, 2 of Marseille’s World Cup representatives, Nkoulou and Andre Ayew replacing Thauvin and Romao, and perhaps most significantly Steve Mandanda, returning from his neck injury in the final game of the season, replacing Brice Samba, who has performed tremendously well during the pre-season.

Unfortunately, as soon as the 2nd half kicked off, Willem II looked as though they were going to spoil the welcome back party! They improved their passing, movement and were getting into dangerous positions, putting in some shots that almost troubled Mandanda. Although this was worrying to watch for a little while, Willem II, didn’t really get any shots on target, but it may give Bielsa and his team some food for thought in preventing the opposition from creating chances.

After 10 minutes of domination, Willem II let the game slip beyond their grasp. As Payet picked up the ball he played in Batshuayi. Although it initially looked to be going out of play, the Belgian managed to beat the ‘keeper to the ball, take it round a defender the the keeper and shoot into the far post. This showed determination, skill and composure from the Belgian, who has looked an exciting prospect.

The game stagnated somewhat over the next 20 minutes with both teams seemingly accepting an OM win. But in the 80th minute Cheyrou added a 4th to the score-sheet. Andre Ayew picked up the ball on the OM left and whipped in a deep cross. Cheyrou volleyed into the ground and into the far post, back across goal for his first OM goal of the pre-season.

As OM suddenly picked up and looked for a 5th in the final 10 minutes Amalfitano broke into the box only to be felled and win OM a penalty. After some discussion between Ayew and Batshuayi it was the Belgian who stepped up to take the spot kick, convincingly sending the Willem II ‘keeper the wrong way to pick up his 3rd goal in 3 games (it seems as though his goal against Bayer Leverkusen was given as an own-goal).

Another convincing OM win, giving the Bielsa era a record of 3 wins from 3, 11 goals scored and 2 goals conceded. All players have managed to play the Bielsa systems, tactics and formations well, with substitutions slotting in seamlessly. It has also been excellent to see some of the youngsters getting pitch time and also playing well. In previous seasons, OM have had a strong starting 11, but looked weak beyond this. Bielsa has varied between a back 3 with only 1 recognised defender, to a back 5 with 4 recognised defenders, with neither of these systems demonstrating any major weaknesses. The beauty of Bielsa’s Marseille so far has been the work ethic and team spirit, but it’s excellent to see that the manager is already looking for potential ‘plan c’ and ‘plan d’ for games, which immediately puts him above his predecessors Baup and Anigo who rarely seemed to have any resemblance of a ‘plan b’.

 

Pre-season pitch time (in minutes):

270: Dja Djedje

244: Payet

227: Mendy

225: Samba, Romao, Lemina

206: Imbula

199: Alessandrini

186: Morel

185: Thauvin

135: Gignac, Batshuayi

129: Mendes

97: Amalfitano, Cheyrou

71: Sparagna

45: Sparagna, Mandanda, Nkoulou, A. Ayew

17: Porsan

7: Bangoura

 

Pre-season goals:

3: Batshuayi

2: Thauvin

1: Payet, Amalfitano, Gignac,  Imbula, Cheyrou

OG: Reinartz (Bayer04)

 

Pre-season assists:

4: Payet

1: Amalfitano, Batshuayi, Thauvin, A. Ayew

 

Allez l’OM

@MarseilleUK

@aswanny84

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Marseille 1v0 Brest – Marseille hold firm to go 2nd

20/4/13
Marseille 1v0 Brest
Stade Velodrome, Marseille – Att. 33,316

20130420-191115.jpg

Team: Mandanda – Fanni, Nkoulou, Mendes, Morel – Cheyrou 1 (’88 Barton), Romao – J. Ayew, Valbuena (’90 Kadir), A. Ayew – Gignac (’83 Sougou)

Marseille managed to keep a clean sheet for the 6th game in a row, won 1-0 for the 10th time this season and stretched their unbeaten run to 7 games to ensure they finish the weekend in 2nd place. A lone Cheyrou goal made sure that Marseille are in the driving seat for Champions League football next season as they head into the last 5 games of the season.

As expected Brest started the game well, keeping possession of the ball and restricting Marseille’s forward play. After 10 minutes though OM began to press a great deal harder, particularly in the final 3rd, putting the Brest defenders under pressure, encouraging mistakes and winning a few corners and free kicks. Marseille were still not threatening the Brest goal too often, Andre Ayew coming closest with a couple of headers.
As we have come to expect, OM hardly set the world alight with much of their play for the rest of the first half. Mendy managed well in the Brest defence, though they struggled to play in Benschop, Raspentino’s long ball rarely finding the lone striker.
A positive moment from Romao changed the outlook for OM though, as he ventured forward for possibly the first time. After taking the ball round 3 Brest players he was eventually felled by Coulibaly. Contact was minimal between the players, but Romao ensured referee Benoit Bastien gave a free kick. After booking Coulibaly, the referee allowed Cheyrou to take the kick from 25 yards. He lifted the ball past the 4 man wall and it beat Thebaux via the near post.
Just as in the first half, Brest started the better side. Within minutes Benschop had tested Mandanda from distance. Having coped with the initial attack from Brest, Marseille once again found their footing. Andre Ayew created a few chances, Valbuena also. Jordan Ayew continued with his inconsistent form with some good chances, including a late deflected shot coupled with a header on goal that almost hit the corner flag.
On 70 minutes Marseille had the ball in the goal again, Valbuena’s delivery from a free kick was met with the head of Lucas Mendes who thought he had grabbed his first goal, only for it to be ruled out for offside.
With some Brest substitutions, OM loan man Rapentino was brought into a central position where he began to create problems. He continued to show good ball control and vision, though he was often let down by his team mates.
For the final 10 minutes Brest pushed for an equaliser, and OM sat deeper and deeper. Although this meant that OM had little to offer going forward, it helped to protect Mandanda who only had a few shots to deal with as SB29 failed to create many clear cut chances.
As the full time whistle blew, the relief was clear for all to see. Another clinical and perhaps ugly 1-0 win, but given the pressure that that late Lyon win had put on Marseille, we have to be happy to finish the weekend in 2nd.

Man of the match – Benoit Cheyrou.
Cheyrou has continued to show his quality since returning from injury and the first half today was no different. An industrious performance that culminated with an excellent goal. Although he tired into the 2nd half before his substitution, his contribution to the team cannot be ignored.
Special mentioned for a solid Lucas Mendes and Steve Mandanda.

Reaction
Elie Baup: ‘This is not the first 1-0 and I don’t think it will be our last. We struggled in the game, but as we won 1-0, it’s still good. We have made progress, compared to the beginning of the season, we are better in these situations’. (OM.net)

Goals & Highlights

Weekend Fixtures:
Montpellier 1v2 Lyon
Bastia 1v2 Lille
Reims 0v1 Valenciennes
Toulouse 0v1 Lorient
Nancy 3v1 Evian
Sochaux 2v2 Bordeaux
psg v Nice
Coupe de la Ligue: Saint-Etienne 1v0 Rennes

Allez l’OM
Swanny (Andrew_js3 & @MarseilleUK)

Rennes v Marseille – Match Preview 26/1/13

Rennes v Marseille

Sat 26/01/13 – 16:00 (UK)

Stade de la Route de Lorient, Rennes

Ref – Tony Chapron

Background

With a gas leak in Rouen postponing Marseille’s Coupe de France game mid-week, OM will have had slightly longer than planned to prepare for a tough trip to 5th placed Rennes. Unfortunately the squad had already travelled to Rouen, so may not be as fresh as they could have been. Rennes have had a week to recover from their 2-0 ligue win over Bastia, as they were eliminated from the Coupe de France by RC Lens in the round of 64.

Marseille

Marseille are without the services of Kabore and Kadir, who are both involved with the African Cup of Nations. Modou Sougou, midweek signing from CFR Cluj, took part in training with the squad this week and is expected to play some part in the game.

As much as the pointless trip to Rouen was mid-week, it means that the last game OM played in was their 3-2 win over Montpellier, where Gignac netted a late winner. This poor performance that still resulted in a victory is sometimes what teams need to keep their form going.

The 18 man team is made up of: Mandanda, Samba, Fanni, Diawara, Nkoulou, Mendes, Morel, Abdullah, Aloe, Abdullah, Barton, Cheyrou, Valbuena, Amalfitano, A. Ayew, J. Ayew, Gignac, Sougou.

Rennes have often shown that they are weak in defending attacks from wide areas. The prevalence of Andre Ayew and Valbuena in the Montpellier match should ensure they see more success against Danze and Mavinga.

Barton may have to drop deep to support either ex-Rennes man Fanni, or Morel against the emphatic Alessandrini, who can dribble, pass and shoot, particulalrly when cutting in from the left. If Barton supports in the manner that he shown in the past, he will act as an extra body to push Alessandrini wide, and eliminate the risk of the shot from distance.  

Likely starting line-up: 4-2-3-1; Mandanda – Fanni, Nkoulou, Mendes, Morel – Barton, Cheyrou – J. Ayew, Valbuena, A. Ayew – Gignac

 

Who Are They?

Rennes currently occupy 5th place in the ligue table, after finishing a respectable 6th at the end of the last campaign. After a poor start to the season, losing to Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille and Lorient, Rennes sat 18th after week 6. Since then, however, Rennes have stormed up the ligue table only failing to win 4 times from 15 games, against ASSE, Evian, Nice and Bordeaux.

Rennes have a wealth of talent at their disposal, despite the departure of the enigmatic Yann M’vila to Rubin Kazan this week. Frederic Antonetti’s main threats will undoubtedly come from the experienced Julien Feret, and the exciting talent of Romain Alessandrini. Feret is good in the air and will be likely to trouble OM’s nervous defence during set-peieces, if he is not taking them himself. He has already weighed in with 6 goals and 2 assists this season. Alessandrini has the same stats with 6 goals and 2 assists, with the only difference being that most of Alessandrini’s goals have been goal of the season contenders.

Just as Marseille can do with their 3 supporting attackers, Diallo, Feret and Alessandini can all change position throughout the game, posing a constant fresh threat to the whole of the defensive line.

Sumary

Last season Marseille benefited from an own goal, from Onykachi Apam, to help them to a 2-1 victory and they may need more of the same luck this season, because this will definitely be a tough game. Both teams pose similar attacking threats, and have the same ligue record in the last 4 games, WWLW. Rennes sit 12th in the home form tables whereas Marseille are joint top in away results, so the game looks as if it will be a tight affair, with a couple of goals to be expected. An individual error or moment of magic could well be the deciding factor in this game.

 

Predicted result: Rennes 1-2 Marseille

 

Selected odds (from Bet365.com, correct at time of publication):

Rennes: 2.75

Draw: 3.00

Marseille: 2.75

 

Weekend’s other Ligue 1 fixtures:

Valenciennes 0-2 Lyon

Evian v Ajaccio

Montpellier v Sochaux

Nancy v Lorient

Reims v Toulouse

Troyes v Brest

Saint-Etienne v Bastia

Nice v Bordeaux

psg v Lille

 

Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK)

Stade Rennes 1-2 Marseille – Match Report

Marseille produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance to beat Rennes 2-1 on Sunday evening. OM were pretty much outplayed throughout most of the first half, but managed a freak equaliser right on the stroke of the interval. Previously, they had fallen behind to an early Doumbia goal. After the break though, Didier Deschamps’ men proved themselves and were much better than their opponents, eventually sealing success thanks to a Cheyrou strike. Continue reading