Marseille 2-1 Nice
May 6, 2018
Nice lose the battle of the Vélodrome
Quickly in front thanks to Mario Balotelli, the Aiglons then suffered and conceded a second fatal goal at the moment in the game where they were at their best. It now looks like it will be tough to make Europe…
The question was on all of Gym supporters’ lips over the past three days. Would Marseille’s qualification after 120 minutes of football in Austria on Thursday evening galvanise them or would they play with heavy legs? Leaving the Vélodrome empty-handed, the Aiglons were unfortunately provided with the answer on Sunday evening.
A Red and Black side that was back at full strength with the returns of Cyprien and Plea to the starting eleven. Although they had been warned of the possibility of huge pressure from the home side, the Niçois were unable to respond to the physical challenge brought by the Olympiens. The tactic of trying to strangle the Gym from the get go would prove to be effective, except for the fact that the Red and Blacks scored at the very start of the game, with their only appearance in the Marseille box in the first quarter of an hour, thanks to an excellent piece of play from Mario Balotelli. The Italian beat the whole Marseille defence before burying into Mandanda’s net (0-1, 4’).
But despite taking the lead, the Aiglons struggled, and after two efforts from Thauvin which didn’t bear fruits, the Marseillais were deservedly back on level terms, when Germain finished well after a cross from Payet (1-1, 13’).
Thanks to a solid Benitez, the Gym tried to save what they could in the second half, and as expected, were able to loosen the home side’s grip on the game. The second half was less intense, the Gym has been dangerous from the very start of the second half (strike from Balotelli which was just about caught by Mandanda 46’). Marseille were less effective and Lucien Favre’s side were finally able to move the ball about as they usually do, but they still lacked that cutting edge. It was exactly at the moment that you felt that the Gym had chances that they were going to be punished. Clinton Njie, who had entered the field just 30 seconds earlier found a way past Dante on the goal line, took Benitez out of the game, played the ball to Payet and the Marseille captain only needed to finish (2-1, 71').
The Gym couldn’t find a way back, despite several chances in the final seconds of the game. The Aiglons didn’t make the most of Saint-Etienne’s dropped points and now sit in 7th place, having seen Stade Rennais establish a 3 point lead with two games to go…
Marseille, Stade Orange Vélodrome,
Olympique de Marseille 2-1 OGC Nice (half-time 1-1)
Week 36 of L1 - 06/05/2018
52,000 spectators approx.
Referee: Antony Gautier
Goals: Germain (12'), Peyet (73') for Marseille; Balotelli (4') for Nice
Yellow cards: Kamara (38') for Marseille; Balotelli (40’) for Nice
Olympique de Marseille: Mandanda - Sarr, Rolando (Sertic, 46'), Kamara (Sanson, 85'), Amavi - Zambo Anguissa, Luiz Gustavo - Thauvin (Njie, 71'), Payet (cap.), Ocampos - Germain
OGC Nice: Benitez - Souquet, Marlon, Dante (cap.), Le Marchand - Lees-Melou, Cyprien, Seri - Saint-Maximin (Srarfi, 81'), Balotelli (Le Bihan, 84'), Plea