Supporter's View | Njie brings new dimension to help OM to victory

07 Aug 2017
Par 
Mohammed Ali
Photos © 
OM.net 2017
A new season always brings excitement but also expectation. More so, if you are a fan of Olympique Marseille. On Sunday night, Rudi Garcia’s side did not disappoint in a convincing 3-0 victory over Dijon FCO at the Orange Velodrome.

Dijon are typically a tricky team that often step up their game massively when they face the Olympians. You may recall their last visit, resulting in a 1-1 draw in the spring – a point claimed by the imperious boot of Dimitri Payet striking a wonderful free-kick. You may also recall the tetchy, nervous victory at a foggy Stade Gaston-Gerard, a game remembered for Maxime Lopez’s first professional goal.

Dijon are no pushovers.

And so it proved in an edgy tactical battle in the first half of a sweltering Velodrome. Oliver Dall’Oglio’s men set the early tempo, producing counter-attack after counter-attack on an OM side keen to strike the early blow. The wide play of Chang-Hoon Kwon and Naim Sliti were troublesome for the OM defence, yet even their best efforts struggled to seriously test Steve Mandanda.

The first half proved ultimately a dull affair, with Florian Thauvin’s well-struck free-kick the only highlight in what was a laborious exercise for OM, who were struggling to breach Dijon in their attacking build-up.

Step forward Clinton Njie, who replaced captain Dimitri Payet at half-time.

For whatever reason Payet departed the field at the interval, coach Garcia’s decision to bring on the Cameroon international proved a masterstroke. Njie, whose transfer from Tottenham was made official this summer immediately changed the dynamics of the game.

A fearless performer with bundles of pace, his entry exposed Dijon’s defensive weaknesses, allowing OM to create more chances. And it paid off in just five and a half minutes. A wonderful cross from Valere Germain found Njie, who put himself in a slightly awkward position in front of the defender to head past Baptiste Reynet.

Soon after, Thauvin – already a big hit in the Ligue 1 Conforama after last season – made it 2-0 with a mazy run that beat Reynet too easily on his left post.

With OM now in comfort and in total control, the floodgates opened. Njie grabbed the highlight of the match with a perfect dribbling run – nutmegging Florent Balmont – before chipping over the goalkeeper, via a deflection to seal OM’s win. It could’ve been a fourth, had Germain not been denied by the crossbar late on.

With rivals similarly posting big victories this weekend, it was important for the team to match them with a confidence boosting victory of its own – a feat achieved with convincing success.

Meanwhile, Njie has offered Rudi Garcia a taste of what is to come. It is always hugely beneficial to the team when players on the bench make a game-changing impact. For Njie, there will be further hope he can make a similar impact either as a starter or a substitute in the weeks ahead.

After all, he has already reached 50% of his goal totals from last season already!

So, it is week 1, win 1. A job well done – and we look forward to a confirmation away to FC Nantes next weekend.

Allez l'OM!


News First team

mon 21 may

OM - Amiens (2-1) | Reactions from the team

See the post-match reactions from Maxime Lopez, Valère Germain, Bouna Sarr, and Boubacar Kamara after the 2017-18 season finale.
mon 21 may

Jacques-Henri Eyraud : «We have every reason to be proud»

Olympique de Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud delivered his post-match and post-season assessment of Les Olympiens’ campaign after the season finale against Amiens.
sun 20 may

OM - Amiens (2-1) | Match Highlights

2017-2018 Season - Ligue 1 Conforama - Matchday 38 - OM-Amiens (2-1): Full match highlights.
mon 21 may

VOTE for May 2018's Olympien of the Month

It's time to select the Olympien of the Month for the final month of competition in the 2017-2018 season? The choice is yours…
wed 23 may

VOTE for May's Goal of the Month!

Which goal scored in May 2018 was the best?
thu 24 may

Olympiens' international schedule

With the club season is over, nine OM players have joined their national teams to prepare for the World Cup in Russia.
wed 23 may

Marseille Insider | Episode 8

It's the final week of the Ligue 1 campaign for Olympique de Marseille and everything hangs in the balance. Experience the high drama as Les Olympiens go to battle against Amiens in the league's closing weekend.
thu 24 may

Payet is your Olympien of the Month for May 2018

Dimitri Payet has gone back-to-back as Olympien of the Month in April and again in May.