Another great performance, and another maddening result. In an exciting game, both Nice and OM showed technique, creativity, and grit. OM, despite 5 golden opportunities, managed only 1 goal, and a tie that puts OM further and further away from a European spot. Review to follow.
Michy, nearly invisible in the smoke at the beginning of the game. Source: om.net
The defense had all in all a solid outing against a potent Niçois offensive team. Mandanda made a few key stops, though was megged on Germain’s equalizer. Nkoulou looked like his old self, commanding the back line with impressive technique and tackling. Rolando played well, but let Germain go behind him on the Nice goal. Dja djédjé played well but oftentimes over-complicated things on offense. Manquillo had a good day, pushing forward often, but the goal came from his side.
Isla had a great day, providing passes and tackling at both center mid and right back. He broke away from his marker on the OM goal. Diarra was outstanding, yet again, commanding the midfield with tenacity and wonderful technique. Even when he didn’t win the ball, he made it impossible for Nice to capitalize. Cabella had a strong game, getting involved heavily on offense and making several great passes. Romao, coming in the second half, played okay, offering a couple tackles.
Isla’s goal from the corner. Courtesy of @TeamOM_Officiel.
This unit, while showing positive signs, is showing its age. This group of young players brought energy and excitement, but failed to put away chances when they mattered most. Alessandrini struggled to complete any dribbles before offering an assist on a corner. Nkoudou had a decent game, but his header in the 71st from 5 meters away went straight into the goalie’s arms. You simply cannot miss chances like that. Thauvin came in, and was absolutely terrible. Missing most of his controls, his night was defined when he messed up his control on what would have been a breakaway chance near the end of the game. Extremely unlucky Michy Batshauyi, despite doing everything right, failed to capitalize on several golden opportunities. These misses, accumulating, cost OM the victory. It started with his 45(+9)th minute, where Michy shot straight into the keeper on a breakaway. His followup to Nkoudou’s header hit the post. Finally, with another perfect chance in the 82nd, his off-balance shot from 12 meters away went straight to the keeper.
Games like this, where OM plays well but fails to finish chances, have been typical this season. However, given the average age of the attack, there are plenty of encouraging signs for the future. Nkoudou is 21, Cabella is 25, Batshauyi is 22, and Alessandrini is 26. With time, they will continue to improve. Hopefully, OM’s directors will not try and cash in quickly on Michy and Nkoudou, but will see the potential they have at OM.
Mandanda – 5.5/10
Dja djédjé – 5.5/10
Nkoulou – 7/10
Rolando – 6/10
Manquillo – 5.5/10
Isla – 7/10
Diarra – 8/10
Cabella – 7/10
Alessandrini – 5/10
Nkoudou – 4/10
Thauvin – 2/10
Batshauyi – 5/10
Merci, et allez l’OM !