Ligue 1: Marseille easily dominates Lorient and pays a final tribute to Bernard Tapie at the Vélodrome

A tribute, a big victory and a return to the podium. The evening of Sunday, October 17 was a success for Olympique de Marseille, who won at home against Lorient (4-1), after paying a final tribute to Bernard Tapie, former president of OM who died on October 3. Led by a quarter of an hour of play, the players of Jorge Sampaoli quickly reacted and reversed the trend, worn by the supporters of the Vélodrome. A precious victory for the Olympians, who are now in 3rd place in the Ligue 1 standings. An ideal full of confidence a few days before the Marseille club’s trip to Rome for the third day of the Europa League, Thursday, October 21.

The evening had started solemnly, the Vélodrome celebrating the memory of Bernard Tapie for the last time. Before the meeting, the central circle of the legendary Marseille stadium was covered with a photo of the former club boss (1986-1994) while Jorge Sampaoli’s players warmed up wearing a black T-shirt, matching the message “Forever in our hearts” and a photo of the former president. Armed with “Farewell Boss” signs, the presidents of the seven Olympic fan groups gathered on the sideline.

In the stands, the approximately 56,000 spectators of the Vélodrome chanted “Merci Tapie, merci Tapie” while the north and south bends presented tifos paying tribute to the former president, the first accompanied by the banner “With you we have reach the top, we will be grateful to you forever “(in reference to the Champions League won in 1993 by the Marseille club, the only one ever won by a French team).

The Marseille and Lorient players paid tribute to Bernard Tapie, former president of the Marseille club who died earlier this month on October 17, 2021 on the sidelines of the 10th day of Ligue 1, at the Vélodrome.  (NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP)

A short minute of silence and a long round of applause later, the Lorientais kicked off this 10th day of Ligue 1 in a burning Velodrome. Opportunists, they took control of the match within a quarter of an hour of play, Armand Laurienté transforming a penalty conceded by Luan Peres. But the Marseillais were quick to react, carried by a very fit Dimitri Payet-Mattéo Guendouzi duo.

Back from the locker room, Jorge Sampaoli’s men, more precise and efficient, gained the upper hand over their opponents, scoring three goals (a double from Guendouzi, 56th and 90th + 1, and Arkadiusz’s first achievement of the season. Milik, 85th).

If the party was almost spoiled by projectile throws from Marseille supporters, who recalled the incidents that occurred during the match against Nice on August 22, the words of the speaker (“you know the penalties”), calmed the spirits.

In addition to the symbolism of a victory dedicated to their former president, this success reassures the Olympians, who remained on two consecutive defeats in the league (against Lille and Lens). Three points all the more important as they allow OM to climb back to the third step of the Ligue 1 podium.

An ideal full of confidence a few days before the trip of the Marseille club to Rome for the third day of the Europa League Thursday, October 21, and a week from the reception of the Parisian leader.

“We had to win in tribute to Bernard Tapie and that’s what we did”, relished Marseille defender William Saliba at the end of the match. “We know that we have a very tough schedule in October so this victory is doing us good.”

For Les Merlus, on the other hand, it is the end of a series of six games without defeat, they who had not lost since the trip to Montpellier on August 22. A setback that pushes the FCL back to 12th place.

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