SAINT-ÉTIENNE 0-2 OM

OM, in a tough environment and facing a solid opponent, displayed the performance OM fans have been waiting for. The team showed determination and drive, while also producing many chances in attack. If OM continues to play like this, the season could yet be turned around. Continue reading for analysis and player ratings.

DEFENSE

Two words: Steve Mandanda. Tonight saw the long-time captain put on his best performance of the season. With jumping punches, diving saves, and a couple 1v1 stops, Mandanda had a perfect night that conserved the clean sheet for OM. This was classique Mandanda, and hopefully it will become typical again for Il fenomeno.

Tonight saw the return of Brice Dja Djédjé, who looked solid offensively and defensively at right back. Dja Djédjé was the source of the first goal, dribbling past the left back and crossing into the middle for Nkoudou. Nkoulou and Rekik were both dominant, providing strong tackles and passes out of the back. Defensively, this was Rekik’s best performance of the season. Manquillo, positioned at left back, was not as offensive as usual but strong in defense. Altogether, a dominant defensive performance from OM.

MIDFIELD

OM’s midfield won the battle for possession. Lassana Diarra was once again spectacular in midfield. With dozens of passes and several important tackles, Diarra single-handedly controlled the midfield. His shot in the 16th minute, rebounding off the bar and Ruffier, was centimeters away from being a goal of the year. Diarra is right-now the best player in Ligue 1.

Mauricio Isla was a solid defensive presence next to Diarra, and did not make many errors. Cabella, positioned at his natural n. 10 position, showed determination and talent around the field. While providing solid passing and piercing runs throughout the game, he also showed fire and passion, which has been lacking from the team. His anger at being subbed out in the 85th minute was a sign of the determination he has to play, which is needed in a team that has been lacking spirit recently.

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Diarra’s spectacular shot in the 16th minute.

ATTACK

Batshuayi and Nkoudou were terrific tonight. Nkoudou was effective on the left flank, breaking through the defensive line on several occasions. This allowed Batshuayi to be positioned deeper into the defense, making him more dangerous. Their strong play culminated into the first goal in the 41st minute. Soon after, Nkoudou found more space again on the left, scoring off a rebound in the 51st minute. Ocampos had a strong game defensively, but failed to be very effective offensively. Otherwise, a strong showing again from a Marseille attack that is showing signs of life.

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Batshuayi’s goal in the 41st minute.

Player Ratings

Mandanda – 9/10

Dja Djédjé – 7/10

Nkoulou – 7.5/10

Rekik – 7/10

Manquillo – 7/10

Isla – 5/10

Diarra – 9/10

Cabella – 7/10

Ocampos – 5/10

Nkoudou – 7/10

Batshuayi – 7/10

VIEWING GAMES IN NEW YORK

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Solid turnout of Marseillais at Smithfield Hall NYC for the game. If interested in watching OM games in New York City, tune into omnewyork.com for more information. 

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