Marseille-Nantes: reduced to ten, OM snatch victory and join Lens at the top of Ligue 1

The wall of the Atlantic and the Loire resisted for a long time. But, faced with the wave of Marseille’s waves, FC Nantes ended up breaking down (2-1), during this match of the third day of Ligue 1 on Saturday 20 August. The OM, however, experienced all the emotions, opening the scoring before getting caught and reduced to ten. But a help of fate, a major mistake by Nicolas Pallois, allowed the Phocaeans to sign a second success in three games.

Igor Tudor, once again, made strong choices to start the match, leaving Payet and Milik on the bench and throwing Alexis Sanchez into the Vélodrome Jacuzzi. Accustomed to fiery atmospheres, especially with his national team, the Chilean didn’t seem petrified by the event, far from it. But despite all of his goodwill and experience, the former Arsenal player failed to free his new people. The public, in fact, has long been frustrated by the result, as OM dominated without materializing.

As an omen, the boos that accompanied the Tudor name when the compositions were announced soon gave way to cheers and cheers of admiration after the start of Marseille. But these did not peak and invariably ended with a hint of disappointment at the Phocians’ lack of realism. In their defense, Clauss (5th) and Veretout (6th) had the misfortune to face a goalkeeper touched by grace at the beginning of the season: Alban Lafont.

A few moments later, Alexis Sanchez, taken up by Girotto, loses the opportunity to seal the union with the Marseille people, lacking in vivacity the duel against the Nantes goalkeeper. But the Chilean did not move any longer and continued his tireless activity, multiplying on the sides. If there was any doubt about his motivation, he was quickly dispelled.

The accuracy of the Olympians has also dissipated. Always physically present against Nantes who struggled to score three passes in a row, the locals invariably sinned in the last gesture, like this shot by Guendouzi in the small goal of Lafont just before the interval (42nd). The question as to why OM played with only one real striker had to creep into the bays of the Vélodrome …

The Croatian coach, however, did not deviate one iota on the second half and renewed the same eleven players. But it was his first substitute, Luis Suarez, to have the first chance, colliding, like his teammates before him, with the sprawling Lafont who came to block the corner (56 °). Not wanting to let the Canarian goalkeeper fly alone in a cage, his Marseille counterpart, Pau Lopez, also split with a decisive save at the feet of Moses Simon (61st).

In the process, Tudor pulled out a deserving Alexis Sanchez and took down his prankster Dimitri Payet, greeted with a thunderous ovation. Volunteer, the former Nantais tried to move the lines but it was Chancel Mbemba who donned the unexpected savior costume by deflecting a shot from Jonathan Clauss (1-0, 70th). The outburst of joy, however, was short-lived. Like a cold shower, Samuel Gigot’s fault came to break the atmosphere, surrounding Mostafa Mohamed: red card for the defender and penalty converted by Ludovic Blas (1-1, 78 °).

The Olympians didn’t gamble. Like a fighting Luis Suarez like his famous Uruguayan namesake, they went on the attack again and, after a header from the Colombian, it was the unfortunate Nicolas Pallois who fooled his goalkeeper (2-1, 82nd).

This time the men of Kombouaré could no longer return. Hard blow for FCNA, still looking for their first success at the beginning of the season, but, in view of the meeting, the victory of OM, which supports RC Lens at the top of the provisional standings, does not suffer from controversy.

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