NANTES 2-1 OM
1-0 Payet (38’)
2-0 Norbert (48’)
2-1 Niang (78’)

The trip to Nantes had been labelled a potential ‘banana peel’ all week long and the warning signs were founded as a fired up Nantes made OM pay for their number of back to back matches in September (Mlada-OM will be their sixth match of the month) and inflicted the first defeat of the season in all competitions. OM, drained physically, couldn’t maintain the pace at La Beaujoire and are now outright second, three points behind Lyon. And yet, despite 80 very difficult minutes of football, OM also grabbed a share of the spoils after Mamadou Niang’s superb strike. It was attack versus defence for the final ten minutes as Marseille went in search of an equaliser that looked only a matter of time, with their now habitual refusal to give up and fight to the very end.


Nantes were expected to bounce back after the firing of Le Dizet in midweek and his replacement by Georges Eo. And that’s the way it was, right from the kick-off. It all began with Cédric Carrasso brilliant save to deny the Argentine Julio Rossi. The OM ‘keeper’s turned the ball onto the woodwork before the follow up effort was saved by Taye Taiwo (8’). The tone had been set. Overrun, Marseille had to rely on another Carrasso save from Rossi (10’). The first dangerous OM attack came in the 22nd minute when Mickaël Pagis found himself with space in the area, but his effort was cleared in extremis by Mauro Cetto’s header. Nantes’ domination was finally translated into a goal when the youngster Payet arrived at the back post to rifle home an excellent Mamadou Diallo cross (1-0, 38’).
Marseille seemed intent on reversing the trend at the start of the second half, but almost immediately Nantes made the break. Always dangerous, the Malian Diallo found Carrasso’s left-hand upright and the ball fell out to Norbert who doubled the mark (2-0, 48’). One had to wait until the hour mark before seeing the Marseille response, which came in the form of two quick-fire shots from Niang (59’) and Pagis (60’).


Despite being reduced to ten men following the expulsion of Cetto (65’), Nantes refused to fold. Just as the FCNA seemed to be gliding towards victory, Niang added some spice to closing minutes with a sublime goal. His curling right foot effort from 18m out left Briant completely flat-footed and set the match up for a grandstand finish (2-1, 78’). Taiwo sent the ball whizzing across the face of goal with no-one able to get the needed contact (83’) and Nasri then saw his missile fly just the wrong side of the upright (88’). But it was all in vain as OM suffered their first defeat of the season. A defeat that they have to put behind them before Thursday trip to the Czech Republic and a UEFA Cup first round return match against Mlada.