OM tied GFC Ajaccio in a relatively open game that was marred by absolutely atrocious officiating. This game was yet another classic example of Ligue 1 refs effectively ending a game early, with terrible decisions that change the fate of the match. However, OM showed some positives. Here is a closer look at each sector of the game.
Despite the result, I had a great time watching the game with OMNewYork at Smithfield Hall NYC. Thanks to @LnCasPous for the photo. Click title to read more.
OM played a relatively poor first half before Batshuayi’s goal in the 37th. The team looked flat and GFC Ajaccio was able to provoke a lot of chances, before getting a soft penalty call in the 18th minute. OM’s strong start in the second half was almost shut down by a GFC goal in the 49th minute that was mistakenly called offside. Then, Barrada’s absolutely shocking red card sentence in the 51st minute seemed to signal the end of the game, but OM continued to press till the final whistle. Here is a look at each sector of the team.
Yet again, the defense remains a discussion. Mandanda had a strong game, making several key saves in both halves. He had no chance on the penalty kick, expertly taken by Zoua in the 18th minute. Dja Djédjé had a solid performance. He was average in defense but provided a lot of offensive support, showing strong dribbling and crossing. Nkoulou was strong in tackles and in positioning, allowing OM to regain possession many times. Even Rolando had an okay game, not providing too many tackles but making very few mistakes. Mendy had another poor performance, gifting a penalty to Ajaccio with an obvious pull on the jersey. He also failed to deliver any good crosses, sending one into the second tier of the stands.
Isla had an average game, producing a few tackles but missing many passes. It is obvious that he is in a more discreet role of possession, but he can be expected to do better. Diarra had another solid game, battling for possession and winning several duels. He wasn’t as involved offensively as I would have liked, but I can’t fault his performance. Cabella had a good game, displaying his typical technique and provoking chances offensively. He serves Batshuayi with a pinpoint cross in the 37th minute.
Batshuayi goal in the 37th minute, assisted by Cabella. Source: TeamOM_Officiel on Twitter.
Nkoudou tried to create chances, and had a decent game. However, he was not as decisive as in recent games, losing the ball a few too many times. Barrada wasn’t really involved in play very much before being sent off injustly in the 51st minute. My mind is still blown by how terrible that call was. Batshuayi scored yet again, but may still be feeling a little disappointed. He lost the ball several times and blew a couple chances, especially when he hit a shot in the closing minutes right into the GFC Ajaccio keeper. Another game, another goal for the Belgian. Ocampos came in and provided a great cross to Batshuayi in the closing minutes.
Barrada sliding and passing the ball before being tackled. This was the play that awared him a red card. Absolutely shocking. Another example of terrible officiating in Ligue 1. Source: TeamOM_Officiel on Twitter.
Mandanda – 6.5/10
Dja Djédjé – 5/10
Nkoulou – 5.5/10
Rolando – 4.5/10
Mendy – 2.5/10
Isla – 4/10
Diarra – 5.5/10
Cabella – 6/10
Nkoudou – 4.5/10
Barrada – 4.5/10
Batshuayi – 6/10
Ocampos – 5/10
The Referees – 0/10
Merci, et Allez l’OM !