Ligue 1: beaten by Monaco, OM stalls again and loses its place as runner-up to PSG

After the odds against Troyes (1-1) and Clermont (0-2), Olympique de Marseille did not regain confidence. Worse, the Phocaeans, however pleasant for a long time in the game, were beaten at home, Sunday March 6, by AS Monaco (0-1) at the end of the 27th day. Portugal’s Gelson Martins scored the only goal of the game to revive Monegasques eliminated in the semi-finals of the Coupe de France earlier in the week, and without a win for three games in the league. This new negative streak drags OM to third place, two points behind Nice, which is benefiting a little more from its success on Saturday evening against PSG (1-0).

Jorge Sampaoli had however decided to go on the offensive on Sunday, with Arkadiusz Milik and Cédric Bakambu starters. With two fixation points near the goals of Alexander Nübel, the Marseillais multiplied the crosses (24 in total), but without managing to find real opportunities. Matteo Guendouzi (14th), Valentin Rongier (22nd) then Dimitri Payet from afar (27th) tried to convert the pressing and the incessant Marseille activity of the first half hour.

But the good intentions came up against a lack of accuracy in the offensive animation, a recurring problem with this OM for several weeks. This time, the argument of the lack of attackers does not hold. But having them on the meadow and finding them in a good position (54 balls only for the Milik – Bakambu tandem) are two very different things.

The duel between Cédric Bakambu and Benoit Badiashile during Marseille - Monaco, in Ligue 1 at the Stade Vélodrome, March 6, 2022.   (CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP)

By aligning his top team, Sampaoli sacrificed the percussion of his wingers, who were sorely lacking on the return from the locker room. A verticality in the game that Monaco struggled to find, before breaking free in the second half. After the first thrill and the goal denied to Jean Lucas at the end of the first period for a negligible offside, the visitors continued their work of undermining to put the Marseille defense under pressure at the restart. The magic of the Wissam Ben Yedder-Kevin Volland duo did the rest. On a magnificent pass from the French international, Volland found the post, before Gelson Martins pushed the ball in (0-1, 58′), to the amazement of a burning Velodrome until then.

Marseille will have had the ball until the end (67.7% possession, twice as many passes as Monaco) but remained desperately sterile, when the Monegasque rear guard like an excellent Axel Disasi held on . This capital success puts Monaco back in the race for Europe after three games without a win in the league. The Rocher formation is eighth, tied with Lyon, but above all just three points behind Strasbourg, 5th. Even the podium and their victim of the evening, six points in front, no longer seem to be an unattainable goal. To the chagrin of furious Marseille supporters at the final whistle.

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