Sunday, April 18

While waiting for Sampaoli, Marseille frustrates Lyonnais too much in their hands

In the absence of quite a revival in the league, Olympique de Marseille (7e) at least slowed down Olympique Lyonnais a little in their quest for a league title, with this draw (1-1) Sunday at the Stade Vélodrome at the end of the 27th day of Ligue 1. It is not never a point taken, but in an “Olympico” the important thing is also to annoy this new rival who, unlike the new PSG, is evolving at least in the same spheres of ambition in recent seasons.

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Despite the absence of the public, “the Olympico” kept some of its fundamentals. There were these flowery exchanges of words between opponents with the formation of a few one-night stands (Dimitri Payet and Thiago Mendes head to head, Álvaro González and Memphis Depay not far from meeting in the parking lot to continue their debate), a team reduced to ten (Lyon after the expulsion of the Brazilian Paqueta in the 71e minute after a sole on Payet) and of course his debated and questionable arbitration decision.

In recent years, the issue of hands in the penalty area has fueled Byzantine debates. That of the unfortunate Paqueta is no exception to the rule. At the 38e minute, Pape Gueye lights with a powerful strike the right arm of the Brazilian. Mr. Millot indicates the penalty spot while Paqueta shows him his red belly, proof that the ball has touched another surface of his body before hitting his forearm. Cold as justice, Arkadiusz Milik executes the sanction of a perfect opposite.

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When Juninho does Aulas

A stroke of fate perhaps, but OL were unable to take advantage of their technical superiority at the start of the match to push a team back to them 20 points at kick-off. At the 21e minute, Karl Toko-Ekambi punctuated full of coolness a class action of the Lyonnais with a love of deviation from Houssem Aouar for his teammate. It was nice, but it was a bit of the start of a little too cushy management on the part of Rudi Garcia’s men.

Well helped by this astonishing apathy, the Marseillais reacted with their weapons of the moment. The stopped kicks of Payet, the game back to the goal of Milic and a certain generosity found since the arrival of “the interim” Nasser Larguet on the bench. The second half was not a technical peak, but at least had the merit of being a little more lively (and muscular). The Marseillais Saîf Khaoui responded with a half-volley from little to the side (57e) to a nice strike from Depay (56e). The Dutchman scored well at the end of the match (84e), but his goal was canceled for an offside that was not open to discussion.

At eleven against ten for twenty minutes, the Marseillais lacked precision and imagination to succeed in pocketing the three points, and to celebrate the first match of Pablo Longoria as president of the club. OM followed with a fourth game in a row without defeat in the league. Enough to allow Franck McCourt, its American owner who resides much of the year in Los Angeles, to begin a series of consultations on Monday in a certain calm with supporters, political and economic officials of the city.

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The new coach, Jorge Sampaoli, is expected on Tuesday. Reputed blood, the Argentinian announced the color on his intentions. “We are not here to hide: we will play hard. OM is a people’s club and I feel myself in this heat ”. No doubt, the former coach of Chile is already ready for the next “Olympico”.

Lyon, for its part, sees PSG steal its second place, and Monaco come back very hard in its rearview mirror with only one point behind. After the meeting, President Jean-Michel Aulas left it to his sports director, Juninho, to recall the arbitration decisions deemed unfavorable to his club in recent weeks.

“Against Nîmes, there is a penalty for us and we draw, against OM in the first leg with a goal from Houssem Aouar refused, against Metz with a goal also refused. And tonight… the ball hits the front belly. So we can’t give a yellow card on top of that. Then there is Nagatomo’s hand too », argued the Brazilian at the microphone of Canal +. The public and the fervor less, it was therefore almost an “Olympico” like the others.

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