Tag Archives: Valbuena

Marseille 2-0 Evian match report – Unconvincing win at the Velodrome

18/08/13 – Ligue 1 Game 2
Marseille 2-0 Evian
Stade Velodrome, Att. 42,524

OM ETG 1

They say the sign of a good team is one which still manages to win when it doesn’t play well. OM  pretty much did exactly that here and picked up a flattering 2-0 success against an Evian side that probably deserved at least a draw out of the encounter. The hosts scored two excellent goals through Gignac and Payet, but over the course of the 90 mins they didn’t really create too many chances. It was Pascal Dupraz’s outfit who looked the more threatening but they lacked a finishing touch in front of goal. Ultimately, the difference between the two teams was a couple of extra classy moments which Evian didn’t have.

The game started in the heat of the afternoon and clearly this had an affect on the players throughout the whole contest. The first major occasion of the game fell Evian’s way and it originated from an excellent Ehret run and cross on the left hand side. The defence was caught out and it ultimately needed Steve Mandanda to make a good save to prevent a goal. Evian should’ve been ahead and regretted that miss just a few minutes later when Gicnac scored. It was really a goal out of nothing as Rod Fanni propelled a long ball forward. OM’s leading marksman from last season still had loads of work to do, but he turned Mensah superbly before unleashing an unstoppable left foot shot into the back of the net. It was a truly excellent goal and just what OM needed after a slow start.

OM ETG 2

The hosts couldn’t build on this lead though and in all truth didn’t create another veritable occasion in the first half. It was Evian who were more lively and could’ve easily found themselves level a couple of times. Mandanda had to be quick off his line to deny Benezet, whilst Kevin Berigaud fired over the bar when well placed. OM led 1-0 at HT but needed to improve in the 2nd half or else their advantage wouldn’t last.

Both sides had early shouts for a penalty at the start of the 2nd period,

but neither were convincing enough and the referee waved away all protests. Payet had a shot from a decent position but couldn’t find the target and then close to the hour mark Souley Diawara should’ve done better when unmarked at the back post. The big defender could only head tamely though and then just a couple of moments later at the other end, Evian had a huge chance to equalise. Bertoglio was in acres of space on the left, but couldn’t quite find Berigaud in the middle. Benezet then missed the the resulting chance and he misfired his shot.

This was a huge let off for OM and they responded. Andre Ayew was unlucky not to win a penalty before Dimitri Payer scored his 3rd goal in 2 games thanks to a great individual effort. He controlled a Valbuena through ball before twisting and turning the defence and then drilling a low shot into the net. OM were 2-0 up thanks to a couple of great goals but this advantage masked some deficiencies. Evian had yet more chances to register a goal before the close. Sougou fired wide, whilst both Nsikulu and Mensah had decent efforts saved by Mandanda. If they’d shown some composure in the final third, the result of this match could’ve been very different.

OM ETG 3

Things I liked

  • The goals. Both were really excellent and they show the fact that even when OM are having an off day, they now have more than one match winner who can save them thanks to an individual attempt.

  • Payet -Gignac – Valbuena triangle. Payet has really settled into the side well and looks so much at home in an OM shirt. His class and skill is a massive upgrade on what we had last season on the right wing. These three players already seem to have a great understanding and connection with each other, which is great to see.

  • Captain leading by example. The backline looked shaky in this match, but the last man of resistance Steve Mandanda was imperious. His form was great in this match and dominated in so many ways. Constantly seemed alert and made some very good saves. Massive improvement on the Guingamp performance and proved that was just a small blip

  • Le Stade Velodrome. Ok, so one side of it is under construction still and won’t be finished until next summer, but this stadium is really starting to take shape now. I really like the architectural design and its going to look superb when fully complete.

Things I didn’t like

  • The defence & its tactics. Its clear the backline has been asked to push up a lot more this season, which at times is working. But on other occasions OM are finding themselves really exposed. They’ve gotten away with it facing Guingamp and Evian because neither of them have taken their chances, but a good quality attack won’t be as generous against us.

  • Jeremy Morel. I just don’t see how he can keep being the starter if he maintains poor performances like this one. He’s constantly out of position and tries to bomb forwards too much. Fine as a backup left back, but Mendy is going to be a stud first choice for OM compared to him.

  • Lack of chances created. OK, so I praised the attacking trio earlier, but there was also a lack of chances created here. Evian are hardly world beaters yet we struggled to gain clear cut opportunities. If this was someone like PSG they’d have had 20+ shots or something and probably won 3 or 4 nil. I want to see us really dominate these type of games completely against weaker teams.

Highlights here

[vimeo 72730165 h=650 w=500]

Player ratings (out of 10)  – Mandanda 7,  Fanni 4, N’Koulou 5, Diawara 5, Morel 3, Romao 5, Imbula 4 (Cheyrou 5), Payet 6 (Amalfitano 4), Valbuena 6 (Kadir, not rated), A Ayew 5, Gignac 6.

Man of the match – Mandanda.

His influence here is underestimated. Payet and Gignac will grab the headlines but his authority at the back was really important. Souley Diawara made it into lequipe’s team of the week, but I don’t know how. Ok, he played alright but nothing special in my opinion.

Evian: Laquait, Wass, Sabaly, Mongongou, Mensah, Ehret (72′ Cambon), Bertoglio (63′ Sougou), Barbosa (63′ N’Sikulu) , Sorlin, Berigaud, Benezet

Elie Baup: ‘It was a difficult game in difficult conditions. We did not have enough juice to get forward more. Imbula was hit on the ankle early in the game. He will see the doctor, but there is a slight sprain.’ (From OM.net)

Other Ligue 1 games
Fri 16th
Sochaux 1-3 Lyon
Sat 17th
Toulouse 1-1 Bordeaux
Saint-Etienne 1-0 Guingamp
Reims 2-1 Lille
Nice 2-1 Rennes
Bastia 2-0 Valenciennes
Sun 18th
Monaco 4-1 Montpellier
Lorient 2-1 Nantes
psg 1-1 Ajaccio

Marseille – Evian – 17/08/13 – Match Preview

17/08/13 – 16:00 (UK – Replayed 18/08/13 08:00 on BTsport 1)
Ligue 1 – Game 2
Marseille – Evian Thonon Gaillard
Stade Velodrome, Marseille

20130815-232846.jpg

After an incredible start to their first Ligue 1 game of the season against Guingamp, Marseille take on Evian in their first home game. With all 3 of Baup’s new signings hitting the ground running in Brittany, the coach will look to repeat last season’s early run of form and make it two wins from two. Having avoided relegation by 2 points last season, Evian will hope to secure safety a little earlier, although they have lost some of their more high-profile players and struggled to replace those. The Stade Velodrome has continued to be revamped over the summer and will have an increased capacity of around 48,000 for this game. The game is close to a sell-out and FIFA president Michel Platini also be in attendance.

Marseille

Lacking match practice, Elie Baup again indicated that it would be unlikely that Saber Klhifa would feature on Saturday, this time against his former club, instead it he may be handed his debut in week 3 against Valenciennes. Baup should have no injury concerns as it would appear that Mandanda, Valbuena, Payet, Nkoulou and Kadir all returned from their international duties unscathed.

Continuing to work on his fitness, Lucas Mendes may be deemed fit enough to start, especially given the rather shaky performance from the defensive partnership of Nkoulou and Diawara last week. There is no reason for Baup to make any other changes to the squad or formation. He should certainly encourage even more of the creativity that Valbuena and Payet showed last week, as well as some of the link up play with Gignac, and encourage APG’s shots from directly from cutting in if OM are struggling to find the ETG goal.

Full Marseille squad is: Mandanda, Samba, Diawara, Fanni, Mendes, Mendy, Morel, Nkoulou, Amalfitano, Cheyrou, Imbula, Kadir, Romao, Valbuena, J. Ayew, A. Ayew, Gignac, Payet.

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Evian

Avoiding relegation again will probably be the main target for Pascal Dupraz and his side this season. Having lost Yanick Sagbo and Saber Klhifa over the summer, ETG’s main replacements are Benezet from Ligue 2’s Nimes and our very own Sougou (the latter only on loan). Sougou is not expected to play and Brice Dja Djedje is suspended, so they will primarily rely on the striking partnership of Berigaud and Barbosa.

Marseille will have to be wary of Evian’s attacking threat from set pieces, especially given their weaknesses in previous seasons along with last week’s poor 2nd half showing against Guingamp. Evian’s opening goal in last week’s 1-1 draw with Sochaux came from a deep free kick with Ehret managing to comfortably direct the ball past Pouplin.

The full Evian squad is made up of: Laquait, Hansen, Sabaly, Ehret, Wass, Angoula, Mensah, Mongongu, Cambon, Sorlin, Koné, Barbosa, Benezet, Blanc, Bertoglio, Bérigaud, Sougou, Nsikulu. Although Sougou is not expected to start there are of course worries that he may come off the bench and cause problems. After only signing in January for OM, his loan move to ETG came as a shock to most given that he impressed in his limeted opportunities last year, so Sougou certainly has a point to prove and will hope to impress infront of the OM croud and Elie Baup.

Expected line up and formation:photo

Summary
With nothing to lose from the game there is the chance that Evian could prove to be a tricky opposition on Saturday, however, the same could have been said before the Guingamp game. Marseille comfortably demonstrated their class and ability in the 1st half against Guingamp, the main difference in the second half being Marseille’s slack passing, performance and defence. If OM perform well in both halves then a home win should be on the cards.

Stats
Marseille have won their last 8 home games.
Evian have lost their last 4 away games.
In the 6 games that Klhifa did not feature in for Evian last season they didn’t win a game, losing 4 and drawing 2.
Marseille have won both games between these 2 teams at the Velodrome (2-0 and 1-0)

Other Ligue 1 games
Fri 16th
Sochaux – Lyon
Sat 17th
Toulouse – Bordeaux
Saint-Etienne – Guingamp
Reims – Lille
Nice – Rennes
Bastia – Valenciennes
Sun 18th
Monaco – Montpellier
Lorient – Nantes
psg – Ajaccio

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

12th 1-0 win, 7th clean sheet in a row. OM just keep winning ugly

27/4/13 –16:00 (UK)
FC Lorient 0v1 Marseille
Stade du Moustoir, Lorient – Att 17395

Valbuena But

Team: Mandanda – Fanni (57′ Abdallah) Nkoulou Mendes Morel – Cheyrou Romao – jAyew Valbuena 1 (83′ Barton) aAyew – Gignac (91′ Amalfitano)

Marseille kept the pressure on the other teams at the top end of Ligue 1 with a typically disciplined performance against Lorient, as a single goal again proved to be the difference between Marseille and their opponents.

During the opening exchanges Lorient closed down well, with both teams struggling to find any space in a tight midfield. While Monnet-Paquet was the Lorient target down their right, Valbuena provided the most threatening runs and delivery for OM, his free kick on 7 minutes forcing Audard to push the ball round the post. OM’s next chance fell to ex-Lorient man Romao. Neat play down the left between Andre Ayew and Valbuena resulted in Romao dragging a half volley just wide of Audard’s near post.

The game could have changed on 20 minutes when Lucas Mendes cleared off the goal line to keep Mandanda’s clean sheet record intact. Baca broke into the box and shot from a tight angle at Mandanda, as the ball looped up off Mandanda, Mendes managed to volley the ball out of danger before the ball crossed the line.

The incident seemed to spark OM into life, who despite dominating possession had not threatened Audard too greatly. As the game opened up both teams enjoyed more space. Cheyrou played the ball into some of this space on the left for Gignac, who immediately played in Andre Ayew. Ayew’s shot was right at Audard and as the ball bounced out of the box, Valbuena was first to it and shot past the covering defenders for his 5th goal of the season.

After another Lorient break against Morel, Lorient this time did manage to get the ball past Mandanda. The resulting corner from Monnet-Paquet’s run was drilled in to Aliadière. As the ball was returned to Jouffre he cut inside and drilled a powerful shot past Mandanda. Fortunately for the OM defenders the assistant correctly judged that Jouffre had picked the ball up in an offside position.

As half time approached Lorient were beginning to look like the team likeliest to score next. Les Merlus players coped better with the artificial surface and continually pressed the OM team into making mistakes, Gignac and Valbuena were both caught in possession on the half way line leading to Lorient breaks forward.

For the majority of the second half both teams struggled to create any clear chances. Lorient continued to try and exploit Morel’s ‘weakness’ through Monnet-Paquet but consistent poor deliveries into the box meant the Lorient strikers rarely showed any danger of ending Mandanda’s clean sheet streak.

With the enforced substitution of Rod Fanni due to a knock, Lorient began to target the Marseille right more than they had been. Clearly seeing Abdallah as a weaker player than Morel. Their probing down the OM right almost paid off too as Auret struck a rasping shot off Mandanda’s cross bar.

Perhaps unsurprisingly Elie Baup decided to shut up shop and play rather defensively in the final stages of the game. The introduction of Barton for Valbuena left OM playing almost 4-5-1 when defending. As a result Lorient were restricted to shots from distance that never really troubled Mandanda.

Gignac Injury

As the game drew to a close the game became rather heated. First of all Gignac was clipped and pushed in the face. His protests about the challenges resulted in a booking for him as he was stretchered off the pitch and also a booking for Gassama and Jordan Ayew. Minutes later Barton was booked for a trip on Sunu, just before the full time whistle. The card action didn’t end there though as a scuffling Audard and Andre Ayew were both red carded after full time to put a slight damping on another solid win.

Ayew Red

Confirmation is awaited on the severity of Fanni’s injury, but initial reports expect him to be out for 7-10 days, making it likely that he will sit out next week’s game against Bastia along with Andre Ayew.

This was another great win for Marseille against a Lorient team who had only been beaten once at home before this game and had averaged 2 goals a game at home too.

Tough to give a man of the match for this team effort. Special mentions must go to Mandanda who kept up a stunning record of clean sheets, pulling off a number of superb saves in the process. Much maligned Jeremy Morel also played well, and despite being beaten on some occasions by Monnet-Paquet managed to put enough pressure on him to ensure there was rarely a good cross delivered from the right.

Reaction from Steve Mandanda: “I hope this is the victory that will ensure our place in the top three. This is a very important weekend and a very important victory, because Lille lost points at home and there is also a direct confrontation between Lyon and Saint-Étienne. We continued on our way, it was a very important win tonight. We won by our favourite score, 1-0, and in the end, it’s three points, like any other win. With four or five games to go we will not play like Barcelona. We play how we know how to, with the goal of taking three points.” (From ligue1.com)

Goals & highlights

Weekend fixtures:
Lille 3v3 Sochaux
Brest 0v2 Rennes
Valenciennes 0v0 Nancy
Bastia 0v0 Toulouse
Ajaccio 2v1 Montpellier
Bordeaux 0v0 Reims
Lyon 1v1 Saint-Etienne
Nice 3v1 Troyes
Evian 0v1 psg

Allez l’OM (@Andrew_js3 & @MarseilleUK)