OM 1-1 Dijon: one point and some regrets

01 apr 2017
Par 
Frédéric Rostain
Photos © 
Yannick Parienti / OM.net 2017
Despite an outstanding free kick by Payet, OM was not able to go beyond a draw in the home game against Dijon on the 31st day of the 2016-17 League 1.

Based on the dynamics of the two teams, OM's hosting of Dijon could appear to be a technicality for the Olympians. But, as we know, no match in soccer is easy, especially when the opponent is fighting to survive in the elite and signals its intentions by affirming it wants to compete in a championship match at the Orange Vélodrome. The Bourguignons played skillfully, coming close to a perfect offensive before halftime with a corner goal by Sertic against his own team in extra time during the first half. Starting at minute five, Dijon set things into motion with a duel between Tavares and Pelé. The Olympians' goalie emerged from this encounter as the clear victor. Marseille responded well, however, with a side header by Thauvin, a long shot by Sertic, a hit by Payet and a shot by Gomic, which was saved on the line after a raid by Payet in defense. But the Olympians' attacks were not coordinated. Incapable of maintaining their focus against a team that appeared in a 4-5-1 formation, the Marseillais were vulnerable to the slightest errors in their opponents' corner during stoppages.
However, everything could have been different. In fact, the turning point of the first half occurred at the half-hour mark with a handball by a Dijon player on a shot by Payet. But this foul, although rather obvious, was overlooked by the referee...

Although they were behind at half time, Rudi Garcia's players managed to speed things up in the first few minutes of the second half. They made up lost ground with a superb free kick by Payet. Reynet, despite a beautiful dive, was powerless against a shot by the Réunionnais, which found the top corner of the net. Reinvigorated by this return to the scoreboard, the Marseillais tried to continue the streak. Thauvin touched the post, but Payet was blocked by Reynet. In the last ten minutes, buoyed by the crowd's support, Gomis twice and Vainqueur once came close to giving OM the edge. The entry of Cabella, Zambo Anguissa and Njie did not change things. And Dijon's defense held fast. Until the end, alas...

Although OM continues its streak of invincibility with this draw, its fourth match without a loss (2 wins and 2 draws), it is henceforth being challenged directly by Bordeaux, at a point which moves to Nice Sunday night, and even by Saint-Etienne which plays Monaco at a future date. ASM is playing in the League cup final Saturday night and is still in in the running for the Champion's League.
This point will probably count in the final sprint, but the match and especially the second half can leave the Olympians with some regrets...

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