On behalf of the 8th day of Ligue 1, Olympique de Marseille won on the smallest of scores in Lorient after a sluggish match (0-1). The only scorer of the match, Leonardo Balerdi scored his first goal in Ligue 1 for the Marseille jersey. A victory which allows OM to temporarily climb to 4th place in the standings.
Olympique de Marseille moved this Saturday on the lawn of FC Lorient in a very important match for both teams. As for the Marseillais, it was now a question of reacting after a frustrating defeat in the last moments of the match against Olympiakos on Wednesday, for their return to the Champions League. Especially since in case of victory this Saturday, the men of André Villas Boas could provisionally return to Stade Rennais (3rd, 15 points). If the Phocéens had the pressure this afternoon, it was also the case of Lorient. Despite their victory last week on the lawn of the Stade de Reims (1-3), the Bretons, 17th at kick-off, had to move away from the relegation zone.
To do this Christophe Pelissier opted for a fairly classic 4-4-2. The eternal Jérémy Morel was present in the left lane of the defense. The twirling Yoane Wissa and Terem Moffi were also on the Lorient side. André Villas Boas changed a lot of things compared to the last eleven holder in LdC Wednesday. If Steve Mandanda, the great savior of OM lately, once again occupied the goals, Michaël Cuisance was aligned in place of Dimitri Payet, suspended. Boubacar Kamara recovered the position of defensive midfielder, leaving room in central hinge to the duo Alvaro Gonzalez – Leonardo Balerdi.
Balerdi opens his counter in Ligue 1
In a complicated start to the match for both teams, Leonardo Balerdi created the first real opportunity of the match by snapping a header, nevertheless well pushed back by two points by Paul Nardi (8th). Besides this parade, not much was happening. If the Lorientais tried in vain to react, it was in the middle of the field that the battle raged in this meeting. A tough battle which quite often saw the Marseillais come out victorious. But like a clumsy Thauvin in the last gesture, the visitors could not conclude their opportunities in this first act (21st, 25th, 28th, 36th). Despite some good movements on both sides, the two teams returned to the locker room with a goalless draw (0-0). As very often this season, the Bretons returned much better in their second half and created an early scoring opportunity through Terem Moffi who however lacked lucidity in the last gesture (47th).
The Nigerian striker who was found five minutes later at the origin of the biggest opportunity of the match. The latter served Quentin Boisgard perfectly in the area. The 23-year-old midfielder unleashed a cross strike that saw Steve Mandanda’s post push back the leather. Not varnished, the Lorient players saw the fate hitting them shortly before the hour mark. On a free kick well enveloped by Thauvin, Nardi did not appreciate the trajectory of the ball and was surprised in his back by the subtle head cross of Leonardo Balerdi which allowed OM to open the scoring against the course of the game in this second period (0-1, 55th). Despite this goal, Pelissier’s men did not dismantle and were not far from equalizing but neither Boisgard nor Wissa found the back of the net (65th). AVB’s men saw the locals trying everything to get back to the score and decided to bang their fists on the table ten minutes from time. But once again, neither Sanson nor Thauvin managed to widen the gap (80th, 81st). At the end of a poorly mastered match, it was the Canebière players who won on the smallest of scores. A victory which allows the men of AVB to regain confidence and thus come back up to Rennes in the standings.