OM 2-4 PSG: history repeats itself....

21 may 2016
Par 
Frédéric Rostain, à Saint-Denis
Photos © 
Yannick Parienti / OM.net 2016
Despite a good overall showing, the OM fell against the PSG in the final of the Coupe de France. The third loss of the season against Paris

"To the victor, the spoils" as the saying goes. There were no spoils for the OM, who did not win the Coupe de France against Paris Saint-Germain; but as in League 1, the Olympians put up a good fight against the French champion and title holder. Despite two hard-fought halves, Franck Passi's boys were playing catch-up for the majority of the match In the championship match at the Velodrome, the Marseillais gave up a goal after only two minutes. That was also the case in the final. Matuidi scored first, with an assist from Di Maria, though the very first attempt was by Barrada, saved by Sirigu. The OM, spurred by their fans' support, made a rapid comeback, and successfully kept the ball away from the Parisians, which is no mean feat. Thauvin, who has been on top form at the end of this season, found a bit of net behind Sirigu from twenty meters out. It was back on, and the atmosphere in the stadium kicked up a notch.

It looked like OM might be able to take the advantage, but opportunities were too rare and not dangerous enough. Paris found some at the end of the half when Ibrahimovic hit the goal three times on the same free kick or strike at the back post deflected by the Marseille defense. There was still hope for Marseille fans at halftime, but once again, the first minutes back on the field determined the direction of the match. Matuidi pushed in to Marseille's territory in a duel with Nkoulou, and played his hand well to gain a penalty despite pushing his ball too far. Clement Turpin, the referee, didn't take long to designate the penalty spot. The PSG's Swedish giant made his mark in his final game in a Parisian uniform.

And could the OM strike again as they had in the first half? They were capable, they had already done it less than an hour before. As we, the Olympians' fans as well as the players, know. The players ran for cover. The chance to Fletcher, who missed the target, reminded them. Just in case... Paris's strong half continued and was solidified by Cavani's goal off a perfect assist by Ibrahimovic. PSG led 3-1, and it was difficult to imagine that this team that was so dominant all over the map would founder in the last half hour.
Cabella, Djadjédjé and Nkoudou came in during the second half but could not change the course of the encounter. Confident in their strength, the Parisians did everything they could to highlight Ibrahimovic at the end of the match. The first attempt was blocked by Mandanda, the second missed, but the third was good. Leading by three goals, Laurent Blanc's men left the ball to the Marseillais, who took their final chances. Batshuayi tried twice before finding the break and closing the gap in the score.
Time was running out, too quickly. Marseille kept its hope alive with a shot by Nkoudou, the last of the match, that flew just above the Parisian goal...

The PSG held on to its title, winning its second Coupe de France in a row and pulling equal with the OM in the record books for total wins in the competition (10). The Marseillais have nothing to be ashamed of in this third defeat of the season at the hands of Paris. The Marseillais fans were not wrong in warmly applauding the players after the final whistle. Franck Passi was right when he said that the gap in the standings does not reflect the gap in level between the two teams. We have met them three times in 2015-16, but this gap still exists...

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