Tag Archives: Jordan Ayew

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)

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November Player of the Month

Jordan Ayew PotM

In a rather inconsistent month for Marseille, there were thankfully some OM players who managed to remain slightly more consistent than others. Valbuena and Mandanda were a close 2nd and 3rd in our vote for November’s player of the month, but the clear winner was Jordan Ayew.

With Andre-Pierre Gignac out and Remy struggling for fitness it was left for jAyew to step in as the senior striker and he didn’t disappoint. Picking up goals in games against Ajaccio and Monchengladbach helped, but his performance and match winning goal against Lille will be what sticks in most people’s minds about Jordan in November.

Rumours were rife over the summer as loan moves to Saint-Etienne and Lorient were mooted amongst others, in a hope to see a talented, inconsistent and often immature players improve his game. Due to the lack of incoming players though, OM kept hold of Jordan and last month that paid dividends.

His performance against Lille was seen by many as a potential turning point for the enigmatic youngster. His potential has never been disputed, in fact many see him as being more talented than his sought after older sibling Andre, it’s been his mentality that people have questioned. The enforced inclusion of Jordan in the starting line-up lately though has been met with a sence of purpose and he has grasped the opportunity firmly. With such performances and valuable contributions in games it would seem difficult for Baup to drop jAyew even when Remy and Gignac are fit again.

Well done Jordan. Long may it continue.

Marseille 1-0 Lille 0 Match Report

An early 2nd half goal from Jordan Ayew was enough to give Marseille a well=earned and hard-fought victory over Lille at the Stade Velodrome.

Joey Barton shone in his Ligue 1 debut and was integral to the matches major turning point, Balmont’s sending off. His 40 yard through ball led to a neat Valbuena control, who then cut in-front of Balmont and enetered the box as he was caught by the Lille man. The referee deemed the foul, a red card offence as Valbuena could well have taken a shot after his neat control.

Almost immediately after half-time, Marseille managed to grab what turned out to be the winning goal. Neat interplay between Valbuena and Morel on the left of the Lille box saw the little man lift a cross into the centre which jAyew rose to meet and headed back across Landreau’s goal.

The score-line in this game could have been vastly different had it not been for Landreau and also Mandanda. Both men were in fine form and Valbuena, Cheyrou and jAyew were denied a number of times for OM, just as Roux, most frequently denied for the visitors.

This was another excellent performance by Marseille, with Manadanda, Valbuena and Barton particular standouts for OM. They will need to repeat this sort of performance if they are to win the top of table ‘Olympico’ on Wednesday.

Goals and highlights

Ajaccio 0-2 Marseille – Match Report

Marseille picked up their first win in Ajaccio for 9 years thanks to 2 second half goals from the Ayew brothers.

Although they took their time to get going, Marseille looked comfortable throughout the game. The players supported each other and played with a positional and possession-al discipline rarely seen in an OM team lately.

Andre Ayew’s goal came in the 55th minute. After some neat trickery down the left, Valbuena’s cross fell to Amalfitano, but as the Ajaccio defence cleared their lines, Ayew hung back and headed on Kabore’s header.

Marseille continued to dominate and never looked in any danger of giving away a goal, apart from a few set-pieces from Adrian Mutu.

Valbuena was also involved in the goal that sealed the win for OM. He picked up the ball to the left of the goal, crossed, and after Jordan Ayew had let the ball cross his body, he struck a low shot back across goal leaving Ochoa with no chance.

Giving the difficulty most teams have when travelling to Ajaccio, this was a very good result. To make it better, this was a very good performance from the team too.

Goals & Highlights

Marseille v Lyon – ‘Olympico’ Preview

Sun 28/11/12 – 20:00 (UK) – Delayed on ESPN 9:45

Stade Velodrome

Ref. – Clement Turpin

Background –

Exactly 1 month after the game was originally due to take place Marseille take on Lyon as both teams have the opportunity to go top of the Ligue 1 table. Both teams form have faltered a little recently after strong starts to the season, although Lyon managed to continue their excellent form in the Europa League, qualifying for the knock-out stage with a game to spare, something OM didn’t manage. Regardless of tonight’s result one of the teams will knock psg off their perch. Because of this, there will be much more riding on this game than simply ‘bragging rights’ or ‘history’ as a victory for either team will confirm their title credentials.

Marseille –

In the last month Marseille have picked up 2 good wins in Ligue 1, away to Ajaccio, 2-0, and last week’s 1-0 home win over Lille. If Marseille perform with the discipline that they did in those 2 games then they have every chance of overcoming Olympic Lyonnais in the ‘Olympico’. Last season’s game saw Marseille race into a 2-0 lead only to be pegged back 2-2. This brought about an end to Marseille’s tremendous mid-season run of form that had seen them climb the table.

Marseille have no new injury concerns or absentees for this game. The 18 man squad consists of Mandanda, Fabri, Fanni, Abdallah, Diawara, Nkoulou, Morel, Mendes, Mbow, Kabore, Cheyrou, Barton, Abdullah, Valbuena,  A. Ayew, Remy, J. Ayew, Raspentino, Remy.

The starting line-up is likely to be the same as the 11 that started against Lille, with Diawara, Barton and J. Ayew keeping their places after impressive performance. Although he was caught of positions on a few occasions much of this might be down to the lack of starting football for Diawara this season. Barton’s delivery and tackles were among the best we have seen from him in a Marseille shirt and as he managed to have the ball in the net twice it would seem unfair to drop Jordan Ayew. Remy may make a late appearance as Baup tries to build up his fitness again to bring him into first 11 contention.

Having changed from the usual 4-2-3-1 formation used in the earlier part of the season, Baup will probably keep the 4-3-3 formation that worked so well against Lille. This formation allowed Barton to press forwards, and the team also maintained its width through Valbuena, while supporting Jordan Ayew with 2 secondary strikers.

Likely starting line-up and formation:

 

Who are they? –

Having finished 4th in Ligue 1 last season, many had feared for Remi Garde’s team this campaign. With losing Hugo Lloris, and also losing Cris, Pied, Cissokho and Kalstrom, Lyon’s squad looks quite bare. Thankfully for les Gones they managed to keep hold of Gomis, Bastos and Lopez, all of whom were linked with moves away. Ahead of this game Garde is missing Lopez, Briand and Lovren through injury and may choose expeirnece over youth with Reveillere and Bastos gaining starts despite only just returning from injury.

Mr. Consistent for Lyon this season has been Steed Malbranque. (In all honesty, that is not something I expected to write at any point this season, especially not for a team like Lyon). From what I have witnessed and from the stats and reviews, Malbranque has been a dominating force in the OL team. His composure and experience has shone through, and his ability to dictate the pace of the game has rarely been matched by any opposition. Lacking in speed, Malbranque manages to get into position early, allowing himself to either play in team-mates with accurate passes, or dribble with the ball. Because of his ‘low centre of gravity’ he can be very difficult to disposes and tackle.

In the midfield battle it may be up to Kabore to pick up Malbranque from his central position. Marseille need to be fully aware of the pace that Lyon can counter-attack with. Dropping deeper early, could actually help against a counter-attacking team. Although there is more space for the opposition to attack it allows the defenders to settle into a position and begin to push the attacking play out wide, away from the goal, allowing the midfield an opportunity to track-back into more central positions and defend against any crosses.

Summary –

Because of the position of both teams in the table it would be easy to argue that there is less pressure on these 2 sides collectively ahead of this game. No matter what the result, one of the teams will end the night 1st in the Ligue standings. Having said that, the benefits of a win do add pressure to the players. A win for OM and they go 3 points clear, Lyon would go 2 points clear with a win, and a draw would put OM 1 point clear and Lyon joint 2nd with psg. Unlike last year’s Coupe de la Ligue final, hopefully the pressures of the occasion will bring out the best of 2 teams eager to show that they are real title contenders and this ‘Olympico’ can be a real ‘classique’.

Predicted score: Marseille 2v2 Lyon   

Odds (Bet365.com correct at time of publication)

Marseille 2.10

Draw 3.20

Lyon 3.60

Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

 

Azpi to Chelsea

It had long been expected that Marseille would have to sell before they could buy players this summer. Gone are the days of marquee signings such a Lucho Gonzalez, Loic Remy and even Andre-Pierre Gignac in terms of the fee he commanded. Despite a poor showing in Ligue 1 last season, Marseille managed a relatively successful Champions League run and qualified for the Europa League via their 3rd successive domestic cup win. As a result, as seems to be the case with any club without superior spending capabilities, every ‘prize asset’ Marseille have, has been linked with a move away, most specifically Loic Remy, the Ayew brothers, Nicolas Nkoulou and Cesar Azpilicueta. Continue reading

Friendly: Evian 1v2 Marseille

28/07/12 – 19:00

Stade Jospeh Moynat, Thonon

Att: 2,027

Marseille: Mandanda – Fanni, Nkoulou, MBia, Morel – Kabore, Cheyrou – Amalfitano, Valbuena, A.Ayew – Gignac

Subs: J. Ayew ’70, Raspentino ’82, Omrani ‘89

Goals: A. Ayew ’15, J. Ayew ‘84

Marseille ended their pre-season campaign with a morale and confidence boosting win against Ligue 1 opposition. Evian impressed a great deal last season, looking solid after their promotion from Ligue 2, and never seemed to be in any danger of being relegated.

Elie Baup selected another strong starting 11, likely to be the team that starts in Marseille’s first competitive game in the Europa League 3rd qualifying round next week.

Marseille started well with Andre Ayew having the pick of the chances in the 14th minute with Laquait just managing to deny Ayew. But a minute later Ayew managed to find the back of the net flicking on a good cross from a Cheyrou free-kick.

Obviously nervy from throwing away leads in previous friendlies a failed offside trap allowed Khlifa to latch onto a through ball and slot past the advancing Mandanda on 25 minutes. Once again, although this is only a friendly it is something that the Marseille coaching staff and players must work on. We saw it time and time again last season and we have unfortunately witnessed it again in friendlies against supposedly ‘inferior’ opposition.

During the second half both teams looked for a winner. Valbuena managed to become more involved as the game progressed and inside the final 10 minutes some excellent trickery down the left saw the Evian defence make a rash challenge on him, winning OM a penalty. Replays would suggest that Valbuena went down rather easily, and this is something that he does on too regular a basis, that often sees officials and oppositions get fed up and therefore refuse to award legitimate free-kicks and penalties. However, Jordan Ayew stepped up to take the penalty and managed to send the ‘keeper the wrong way as he scored with great composure.

Although, once again, there were some worrying cracks in an otherwise positive Marseille performance, they still have 2 European qualifier games before the Ligue 1 season begins. A great deal could still change between now and that away trip to Reims. On the one side we could retain all of the current squad and perhaps make a much needed defence/defensive midfield signing, win both European games and be set up excellently to hit the ground running at the start of the Ligue 1 season. On the other hand, the club may receive offers too good to refuse for Azpilicueta, Remy/Gignac, suffer a shock defeat in the Europa League. With such a set of circumstances likely to see a drop in morale and confidence this could lead to a poor set of results at the beginning of the Ligue 1 season. Make no mistake the next few weeks are incredibly important for Marseille’s future over the next season or too.

Match Goals & Highlights

 Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)