For this 36th day of Ligue 1, AS Saint-Etienne hosted Olympique de Marseille. A very important match for OM who had the opportunity to take three points ahead of Lens and consolidate their fifth place a little more, synonymous with qualifying for the next Europa League Conference. For this meeting, Jorge Sampaoli decided to line up his famous 3-5-2. Luis Henrique started the meeting as a left piston. Florian Thauvin, who has just signed with the Monterrey Tigers, was well established on the attack front. For his part, Claude Puel offered a rather attractive eleven with an attack line made up of Bouanga, Khazri, Nordin and Abi.
In this first period, and as often, Jorge Sampaoli’s men suffered a good part. The mobility and the numerous races of Wahbi Khazri posed a lot of concerns for Balerdi and others. The Tunisian also obtained several opportunities (8th, 18th) including a face-to-face well negotiated by Steve Mandanda (19th). After having rounded back for nearly 30 minutes, the Marseillais finally ended up leaving their camp and took full advantage of the spaces between the lines. Florian Thauvin did not go far from the opening of the scoring after a well struck free kick (29th). In the end, it will be Olympian’s only opportunity in the first half. The Stéphanois quickly regained control of the ball and logically ended up opening the scoring. Khazri, again, found Nordin miraculously after a completely failed intervention. The winger did not need to pray and cheated Mandanda (1-0, 43rd).
Marseille still misses the boat
We had to do better on the side of Marseille to hope to reverse the match and achieve a result that could almost ensure a European place. In the intention and the ambitions, this second act will have been much better. Dimitri Payet came to illustrate the good Marseille period. The 34-year-old attacking midfielder had several big chances including a magnificent free kick which crashed into the left upright of Etienne Green (55th). Discreet in this meeting, Milik was not far from taking advantage of a mess in the Stéphane defense after a handover from Thauvin (55th). A few minutes later, it was Luis Henrique’s turn to be dangerous. He decided to strike at a tight angle, but his strike was repelled by an ever more vigilant Green.
The very young Saint Etienne goalkeeper delivered a performance full of security and serenity as evidenced by his good interventions in front of Milik (68th), Payet (77th) or even Benedetto (83rd). What to discourage a little more the Marseille attackers who seemed more and more resigned as the match progressed. By dint of discovering themselves to return to the score, the Marseillais also left spaces. Spaces that benefited at the speed of Bouanga and Hamouma. The two attackers stumbled in quick succession on a solid Mandanda (83rd, 84th). The score will not move until the end of the match. Jorge Sampaoli knows his second defeat under the colors of OM. The Marseillais missed a great opportunity to secure a European place. For its part, Saint-Etienne confirms its current form.
The Ligue 1 ranking here.