Monday, 28 November 2011

Olympique Marseille 3-0 PSG: Derby despair

Highlights - OM 3-0 PSG

The PSG players have been in for extra training this morning. “This session is closed to the public” reports the official club site gravely.

It was probably a good move for the squad’s protection to keep the fans out, though I would have been interested to know what exactly they were practicing. On the basis of last night’s game they could do with brushing up on a few things: tackling, passing, shooting, little details like that.

As you can probably gather, last night’s Clasico was more disastrous than Jeremy Menez’s latest trip to the barbers. Fair play to Marseille, who bossed the match from start to finish and were superior in every department from the moment Loic Remy hung in the air to nod in Cesar Azpilicueta’s long cross from the right in the fourth minute.

Pundits always bang on about the importance of an early goal, and on this occasion it certainly seemed to boost the home side’s confidence, while PSG retreated into their shell. The magic square seems to have exhausted it’s supply of magic, with Pastore in particularly rancid form, misplacing passes all over the show. The closest we came to a goal was a low scudder from Momo Sissoko which rattled against the bottom of the post.

Antoine Kombouare must’ve been delighted to see Leonardo make and appearance in the dressing room at half-time, and regardless of what was said, and by whom, it had little effect. There seemed to be no plan as to how we might get back into the game in the second half. There was no tempo, no cohesion, and precious little passion. I usually stick up for AK but on this occasion I feel he has to take some blame for what was, after all, a collective failure to perform.

In fact the only fighting spirit we saw after the break came from Mamadou Sahko, who got involved in a bit of handbags with the Ayew brothers, and from Gameiro when he and Pastore were substituted. The former Lorient man booted the dug-out in frustration as he exited the field.

Withdrawing his underperforming stars was an eye-catching gamble from the boss, but
unfortunately it didn’t pay off as OM got the crucial second a minute later. Matuidi surrendered possession meekly in midfield, allowing Morgan Amalfitano to seize on the loose ball and sprint forward before aiming a precise angled drive across Sirigu and into the far corner of the net.

The excellent Kaba Diawara made a great tackle to deflect sub Melvut Erding’s goalbound effort behind for a corner, but PSG did little to deserve a route back into the match, and Andre Ayew’s header deflected header, which trickled over the line in the 85th minute, was a fitting finale on a night which belonged to Les Phocéens.

Man of the Match: Er, I’ll get back to you on that one.


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