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Full of confidence ahead of PSG04 Oct 2012 Par
In front of a small crowd (12,746 spectators) and an intensity relative to the occasion, OM v Limassol will not leave an indelible mark on the history of Olympique de Marseille. Or perhaps, for the stunning beauty of the fourth goal and the size of the final score. In Europe over the last 20 years, only Zurich (6-1, in 2009) and Moscow (6-0, in 1993) have suffered such big defeats at the hands of Les Marseillais.
It was the perfect way for the Ligue 1 leaders to bounce back from the disappointment of the weekend loss to Valenciennes and also prepare in style for Sunday's Clasico against the side chasing them on the league ladder.
Aside from preserving players with an eye on Sunday's clash, Elie Baup's turnover also allowed a debut on the left side of the defence for Lucas Mendes. Defensively neat and tidy, he played his part in the victory. Laying on the equaliser, he scored the second. On both occasions, he showed excellent timing with his headers.
The other 'débutant', Joey Barton was also playing at the Stade Vélodrome for the first time. As active as he was in Istanbul, his vision with a few throughballs and his set piece delivery all bodes well for the future. His right boot laid on the first chance of the match.
There was also a first appearance for Aloé and rare starts for Raspentino and Abdullah.
Before the final 15-minute flourish, the home side did concede the opening goal (22', 0-1) and could have easily conceded another (29').
But OM can still rely on its efficiency from set pieces to equalise shortly after the introduction of Valbuena at the expense of Abdullah (54').
The first three OM goals all came from headers. Fanni first, then Mendes (Valbuena corner) and Remy (at the second attempt from a Jordan Ayew cross).
It was only then that the Cypriots gave up the ghost against an OM side that was hitting top gear.
And their were two more goals in stoppage time at the end of the game from Remy and Gignac with a superb volley after a one-two with Remy. OM are back on track and the next stop is this Sunday and the Clasico. Droit au but.