Ligue 1: OM concede a draw at home against Monaco but retain their third place
Marseille and Monaco separated in a draw (1-1) on Saturday during the 20th day of L1, a result which interrupts Marseille’s fine series of victories but keeps both teams’ podium ambitions alive.
After the three points in the first leg, OM will therefore have to settle for a single point on the return leg and will perhaps regret not having extended their collection of consecutive successes to nine and not having managed a better operation. Marseille ultimately remains 3rd, two lengths behind Lens, and keeps its five-point lead over Monaco.
A mixed game
But it’s probably a lesser evil given the first period of Saturday’s game. So seductive, and even impressive, against Troyes and Rennes, Marseille indeed took the game upside down this time, or were put the wrong way by Monaco. The Principality team immediately found plenty of space, especially on the opposing left wing. Opposite, Rongier, Veretout, Malinovskyi and even Guendouzi, all at the same time on a bad evening, painfully directed a laborious and hesitant maneuver, far too slow to threaten the ASM.
Decisive Alexis Sanchez
Philippe Clément’s team therefore logically took the advantage on a goal scored by Veretout with a header against his camp, on a good free kick from Golovine (1-0, 17th). It then took a double miracle to save OM, with an astonishing save by Blanco, replacing Pau Lopez, on a ball stung by Ben Yedder, who then hit wide in the second half of the action. This failure gave OM the chance to stay in the game and the end of the first period was less poor for Igor Tudor’s team. So, after the break, the Croatian technician tried a tactical move by replacing Guendouzi with Balerdi, which notably had the effect of moving Nuno Tavares to the right. He was behind the equalizing goal with a powerful strike, on which the hands of Nübel, the Monegasque goalkeeper, really skated.
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Alexis Sanchez followed, unlike Disasi, and OM came back into the game (1-1, 47th). His second period was then infinitely better than the first, with a real festival of Sanchez, inexhaustible and inspired, but OM could not get ahead, despite a header on the bar from Balerdi or a fine volley from Payet. The end of the match was breathtaking between cramps and more or less lucid last rushes and the two teams could have pulled off the piece. They finally had to share it and are looking ahead, two championship days to come next week, then, for OM, the Coupe de France and Paris SG in ten days.