Tag Archives: Friendly

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.

om-text-title

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

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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.

om-text-title
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

Pre-season part V: Marseille 3-1 Cheivo Verona

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.

 via OM.net

Sun 2nd August – 19:00

Marseille 3-1 Chievo Verona (Thauvin, Nkoulou, Gignac: Bertivoglio)

Stade de Fargues, Le Ponet, Avignon

Mandanda

Romao  Nkoulou  Morel

Imbula

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.

 

 

Pre-season stats:

 

Games: 5

Won: 4

Drawn: 1

Lost: 0

Goals for: 15

Goals against: 4

 

Pre-season goals:

4: Batshuayi

3: Thauvin

2: Gignac

1: Payet, Amalfitano, Imbula, Cheyrou, Nkoulou

OG: Reinartz (Bayer04)

 

Pre-season assists:

4: Payet

2: Thauvin

1: Amalfitano, Batshuayi, A. Ayew

 

Pitch time (in minutes):

382: Dja Djedje

378: Romao

366: Payet

362: Mendy

339: Morel

338: Imbula

320: Thauvin

279: Lemina

270: Samba

230: Alessandrini

229: Gignac

225: Nkoulou

221: Batshuayi

198: Ayew

180: Mandanda

156: Mendes

155: Amalfitano, Cheyrou

143: Sparagna

108: Ayew

31: Porsan

14: Abergel

7: Bangoura

 

Allez l’OM

@MarseilleUK

@aswanny84

Pre-season Part IV: AS Bari 1-1 Marseille

Having played 3, won 3, Bielsa would hope for more of the same as his Marseille side flew to Italy to face a Bari who spent last season in Serie B, but should provide a different challenge to those of previous German and Dutch opposition.

Bari Batshuayi

Wed 29th July – 18:30

AS Bari 1-1 Marseille (Sabelli: Batshuayi)

San Nicola Stadium, Bari, Italy

Mandanda

Romao  Nkoulou  Morel

Imbula

Lemina  Payet  Mendy

Thauvin  Gignac  Ayew

Subs: Samba, Dja Djedje, Mendes, Sparagna, Amalfitano, Cheyrou, Porsan-Clement, Batshuayi

 

Reverting back to a 3-1-3-3 formation, without Alessandrinni, Marseille started the game well. Both sides were evenly matched, creating half chances. OM did well to keep the ball and dominate possession, in a manner that we have become accustomed to under Bielsa.

The possession looked to have paid off as OM managed to get the ball in the net just on the stroke of half time. Gignac crept in behind the defensive line, dribbled to the box and slotted the ball past the keeper, only for the referee’s assistant to flag for offside from the initial through-ball. The decision looked harsh on initial viewing and subsequent replays too.

After half time, much of the same continued with the usual raft of changes taking place throughout the final 45 minutes.

All of OM’s hard work looked to have been in vain though as Bari won and converted a penalty in the 62nd minute after a Jeremy Morel foul. In fairness, it was a poor challenge and something he seemed to be eradicating from his game, but hopefully he can improve on this even further after having a solid pre-season so far.

Soon after, Nkoulou managed to head home from a Thauvin free-kick, only for the referee to disallow this goal for……?? To be honest, I’ve watched the incident back a number of times and still can’t work out why the goal didn’t count.

Thankfully it didn’t matter too much though as with 8 minutes remaining Batshuayi netted his 4th goal in 4 games after pouncing on a Bari defensive mistake. He intercepted a wayward pass, then rounded the ‘keeper and defender before confidently finishing, coining the phrase #Batshuagol

The game ended 1-1, and although OM should have won 3-1, there are many lessons that can be learned, and positives that can be taken as fans. First of all, Bielsa continued to search for an equaliser/ winner with OM playing 3-1-6 at times looking for a goal.

 

 

Pre-season pitch time (in minutes):

317: Mendy

307: Payet

306: Dja Djedje

296: Imbula

288: Romao

279: Lemina

270: Samba

261: Thauvin

249: Morel

199: Alessandrini

198: Gignac

162: Batshuayi (Goal every 40.5 mins)

156: Mendes

135: Nkoulou

124: Amalfitano, Cheyrou

108: Ayew

98: Sparagna

90: Mandanda

31: Porsan

7: Bangoura

 

Pre-season goals:

4: 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

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

Pre season – Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 Marseille

After much confusion over arranged friendlies, cancelled friendlies and newly arranged friendlies, along with doubt over the venue of OMs home games this season, Marseille eventually played their first game under the stewardship of Marcelo Bielsa on the 19th July in Austria against Bayer Leverkusen.

2 games later and Bielsa’s Marseille have a 100% record, showing some excellent discipline, attacking intent, structure and tactics that have been missing during the Baup/Anigo eras.

Payet Leverkusen

Sat 19th July – 19:00

Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 Marseille (Yurchenko; Thauvin, Reinartz O.G., Amalfitano, Payet)

Stade SV Seekirchen, Austria

 

Samba

Dja Djedje  Romao  Lemina  Mendes  Mendy

Imbula

Thauvin  Payet  Alessandrini

Gignac

Subs: Fabri, Morel, Cheyrou, Amalfitano, Batshuayi

 

One of the many questions fans were excitedly asking ahead of Bielsa’s first game in charge of OM was ‘what crazy formation will El Loco’ start with?’ Knowing that Bielsa is something of a taskmaster, with huge expectations of his players, many have doubted how OM’s players would adapt to this level of discipline, having shown very little of it under previous managers.

Bielsa set out with an unusual line-up which varied between a defensive 5-1-3-1 and attacking 3-3-3-1. In the defensive 3, only Mendes was a recognised defender as Lemina and Romao joined him. Mendy and Dja Djedje supported as wing-backs, with Imbula sitting just in front of the defence. The attacking 4 of Alessandrini, Payet, Thauvin and Gignac was probably the most expected aspect of the squad.

The game started evenly with both teams creating chances, but failing to really test the opposition keeper. That all changed after 30 minutes when Payet played an excellent through-ball for Thauvin, beating the high Leverkusen defensive line, Thauvin composed himself and beat Leno when one-on-one. Leverkusen looked the most likely to score during the rest of the first half, but only tested Samba once.

During the interval Bielsa made 3 changes, bringing on Morel, Cheyrou and Batshuayi in pace Mendy, Alessandrini and Gignac. The changes worked well with all 3 players fitting into the system seamlessly. Just before the hour mark, OM doubled their lead. New boy, Batshuayu broke down the left and attempted to cross, only for Bayer defender Reinartz to deflect the ball into his own goal.

Amalfitano looked to have put the game beyond the Germans with an audacious lob on 78 minutes, only for Yurchenko to leave Samba with no chance with a good strike. Amalfitano continued to look impressive though and he added to his performance with an assist for Payet’s goal only a minute later.

The slightly more physical side to the game looked as though it may take over in the dying minutes, but thankfully most remembered that this was a pre-season friendly.

The win was an emphatic way for Marcelo Bielsa to begin his tenure at OM, with a number of Marseille players impressing with excellent performances, for both themselves and the team as a whole. Particular standouts were Imbula, Amalfitano, Payet and Thauvin.

 

 

Allez l’OM

@MarseilleUK

@aswanny84

Friendly: Olympique Nimes 2v2 Marseille

20/07/12 – 19:30

Stade des Costieres, Nimes

Marseille: Bracigliano – Fanni, M’Bow, N’Diaye, Aloe – Abdullah, Cheyrou – Ammari, Amalfitano, A. Ayew – Gignac

Subs: Mango ’58, Azouni ’83, Osei ’87, Bangoura ’75, Omrani ’87, Jobello ’81, Gadi ’66, Raspentino ‘35

Goals: Gignac ’45, N’Diaye ‘73

Marseille’s third friendly of the pre-season pitted them against French, Ligue 2 opposition,  in the form of Nimes. Marseille started with a slightly stronger defence, expecting to be tested by a team much closer to their first competitive game than in previous friendlies.

The first half was relatively even with both teams going close on a few occasions, however, it was OM who opened the scoring through Gignac. Recent signing Raspentino crossed from the right, to allow APG to flick a header to the far post leaving the ‘keeper with no chance.

In the 50th minute Nimes were awarded a penalty after a dubious handball decision against Fanni. Nimes’ Kone managed to slot the spot kick past Bracigliano, the OM ‘keeper unlucky having chosen the correct way to dive.

Nimes then extended their lead only 2 minutes later. After some trickery down their left flank a cross-come-shot was provoked a reaction header from Benezet to leave Bracigliano with no chance.

Marseille looked for an equaliser, and after making a number of substitutions won a free-kick on the left flank. A Cheyrou cross was met by a powerful N’Diaye header that the Nimes ‘keeper couldn’t keep out leaving the teams all square with 18 minutes left.

Both teams came close to claiming a win but ultimately couldn’t find a breakthrough.

Goals & Highlights

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)