Shy 2-0 winner in Auxerre (L2), Olympique de Marseille offered themselves Wednesday a first victory in more than a month and a ticket for the round of 16 of the Coupe de France, enough to mitigate the atmosphere of crisis that shakes the Marseille club.
In Burgundy, OM had come to seek some comfort after a disastrous series of seven matches without winning (two draws and five defeats), the dismissal of their resigned coach André Villas-Boas and the sling of their supporters in anger.
Without being brilliant, the current ninth in Ligue 1 has brought back most of Abbé Deschamps on a header from Dario Benedetto (54th), the Argentine center-forward who has had no goals since January 16, and one against d ‘Ahmadou Bamba Dieng (90th + 2) in added time.
However, it will take more for OM to find a smile again, as their victory was drawn so laboriously …
Deprived of Dimitri Payet, suspended, as well as Alvaro Gonzalez, Arkadiusz Milik and Jordan Amavi, all injured, interim coach Nasser Larguet proposed a facelift on all lines: Yohann Pelé in the cage, Leonardo Balerdi in the axis with Boubacar Kamara promoted to captain, Saif-Eddine Khaoui in N.10 and Luis Henrique on the right wing.
In this configuration, the visitors did not show the expected domination against Auxerrois who had also given their chance to usual substitutes. The debates were so balanced that it was difficult to see if it was because Auxerre (5th in L2) had gone into L1 mode or OM, in L2 formation.
Not sharp enough in their movements, jostled on placed attacks or counters, the Olympians were traversed by shivers in the first period, and not only because of the negative temperatures raging in the snow-capped Burgundy.
– First for Ntcham –
Pelé was scared on the first Auxerre incursion (5th), was saved by one of his posts on a header from Aly Ndom (21st) passed through the defense, and heated his gloves at the right time (45th +1, 50th, 87th, 90th).
OM also had their clear opportunities, especially on a corner from Khaoui but the AJA miraculously escaped with a double rescue of Axel Ngando on the line after a header from Balerdi, then in the legs of Pape Gueye (38th), too hesitant in the face of the opposing goal.
The Marseille attackers had a few balls to eat, but the strike from Khaoui (12th) and the dive from Benedetto (14th) did not hit the mark.
Long clumsy, the former Boca Juniors caught up with an uncrossed header upon receipt of a perfectly balanced cross by the Spanish side Poli Lirola, a quarter of an hour before his exit.
In the game, OM showed rare flashes and some mistakes, a double face embodied by Luis Henrique. The Brazilian winger, holder for the first time since his arrival at the end of September, stood out for the best (small bridge and acceleration in the 8th) and for the worst (loss of ball in the 13th, uncertain placement).
The 19-year-old striker has also left his place at the break for Florian Thauvin, who entered at the same time as the new recruit Olivier Ntcham. For his first, the midfielder on loan from Celtic Glasgow showed good intentions and played simple, which OM is sometimes sorely lacking at the start of 2021.
Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by www.challenges.fr.
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