Olympique de Marseille (OM) temporarily took the lead in the French football championship on Friday, September 30, winning (3-0), without forcing too much, in the opening match of the ninth day of the League. 1, against Angevins who were nevertheless playing at home, at the Raymond-Kopa stadium.
Mistreated during the first half hour, the Phocaeans finally took advantage of their opponents’ lack of realism and the flaws of the SCO – now the worst defense in the championship (21 goals conceded in nine matches) – to win thanks to Jonathan Clauss (35e), Luis Suarez (50e) and Gerson (59e). An ideal recovery, after the international break, for Igor Tudor’s men, who have ten games left to play, in all competitions, before the November-December break for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
In Ligue 1, they remain undefeated and, after their recent setback against Rennes (1-1) on the eighth day, they take a small lead over Paris Saint-Germain, who host Nice on Saturday evening at the Parc des Princes. .
But the picture is darker in the Champions League, where OM started with two defeats against the English of Tottenham (0-2) and the Germans of Eintracht Frankfurt (0-1) and will not have the right to the error, Tuesday, against Sporting Portugal.
For Angers, who had come out of a bad patch by chaining two victories against Montpellier (2-1) and Nice (1-0) before the break, it’s a new disappointment. But the workforce of Gérald Baticle (14e8 points), deeply renewed this summer, keeps a little ahead of the red zone and has shown encouraging signs.
First Marseille goal for Clauss
In a match played at a slow pace, under a fine rain and fresh gusts, the SCO players indeed began by imposing their pressure on the Marseillais. But Nabil Bentaleb saw the post push back a nice shot (18e) and Adrien Hunou, found alone in the area, did not frame his own (34e).
Behind, the Marseillais Clauss, well shifted to the left by Suarez, tumbled into the Angevin penalty area to open the scoring with the help of the incoming post (1-0, 35e), raising the Raymond-Kopa stadium, where the “To Arms” Olympian sounded much louder than the “Go SCO”. This is the first goal in an OM jersey for the French international, who was helping out in the left lane due to the suspension of Nuno Tavares.
Reinvigorated, the Marseillais accelerated the pace and Suarez had the opportunity to knock out the Angevins but his header was off target (39e). It was Clauss who took care of it: intercepting a ball badly negotiated by the Angevin defense, the winger quickly projected himself to find Suarez alone in the area (2-0, 50e). The former Lensois then combined near the SCO cages with Samuel Gigot, who served Gerson (3-0, 59e).
Faced with increasingly feverish Angevins, OM then rolled out without forcing and Igor Tudor (from the stands because suspended and replaced on the bench by his deputy Hari Vukas) took the opportunity to get Clauss out – to the cheers of the stadium –, Gerson and Dimitri Payet, ahead of Tuesday’s game which is already crucial for the rest of his European campaign.