A sparkling first quarter of an hour − desire, a goal, a red card for an overwhelmed opponent − and then nothing. Olympique de Marseille gradually died out on Friday 1er September, against a rebellious FC Nantes, and conceded a 1-1 draw at the opening of the 4e Ligue 1 day.
Admittedly, with two wins and two draws, OM are provisionally leaders of Ligue 1 with a one-point lead over Monaco – which hosts Lens on Saturday at 9 p.m. – but the Marseille club is struggling to meet all the expectations created by recruitment. ambitious offensive.
In an incandescent Beaujoire, led by a Loire stand overmotivated by recent conflicts with the management of the club, OM nevertheless made Nantes live a hellish first quarter of an hour, suffocated by each offensive and multiplying the loss of ball on the stifling pressing of visitors. A first ball into the area for Vitinha set the Canaries defense on fire (1e), before Chancel Mbemba hit over the bar while he was unmarked (2e). On a new huge opportunity, Vitinha then came up against Descamps (3e). A minute later, Descamps again fended off a shot from Vitinha, but Ismaila Sarr took charge of a powerful shot to put the ball in the back of the net (4e).
Mohamed, the Nantes flame
It was then the young Bastien Meupiyou, 17 and propelled holder for the first time in his career, who cracked with a gross foul on Sarr in front of his surface as the last defender, logically receiving a red (9e).
These attractive debuts for OM turned out to be a flash in the pan. Marcelino’s men gradually sank into a rough game, and allowed FC Nantes, however lacking in confidence, to regain momentum. Back to goal control, half-turn and perfect shot: center forward Mostafa Mohamed, who already scored twice against Monaco last week (3-3), once again hit the bull’s eye for the goal of equalization (39e). The Egyptian is now top scorer in the championship, tied with Monegasque Wissam Ben Yedder (4 goals).
“We stopped playing” regretted Marcelino after the match. “We thought the match was over” after the eviction.
Lack of precision
Like the Argentinian Joaquin Correa, not very incisive for his first start, the Olympians often lacked precision on returning from the locker room, obtaining few serious chances in the second period. It was in the last quarter of an hour, one-way, that the Marseillais proved to be dangerous again, Aubameyang missing the target (90 + 4) at the end of the match. An insufficient awakening to make the decision in the face of these people from Nantes who are still slowing down.
With two defeats and two draws, the accounting result is not brilliant after four days for Pierre Aristouy’s players, fifteenth in the championship. But Nantes can boast, as against Monaco last week, of having given in without breaking against a team that is vastly superior on paper and in a heated context.
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“It’s an important match, an important point given the way it went”estimated the Nantes coach after the draw.