Nice 2-4 OM: ast-ound-ing!01 Oct 2017
After rotating his team for the Europa League trip to Salzburg during the week (1-0), Rudi Garcia reverted to his main eleven for this 8th Ligue 1 game of the season. And it was a case of result obtained on this trip to France's Alpes-Maritimes department. The players who'd beaten Toulouse at the Orange Vélodrome (2-0) were thus the ones out on the pitch for the kick off at the Allianz Riviera stadium. But things started badly for Marseille, with Balotelli opening the scoring for Nice from their very first corner of the game. Seri then doubled the lead, with his shot catching Mandanda out after being deflected off Rami's back. With the Olympiens 2-0 down after 17 minutes, it looked like it was going to be a long evening. But that would have been to ignore the character Rudi Garcia's men have at their disposal.
Ten minutes later, the Olympiens reduced the deficit through Ocampos. True to his goal poacher's instincts, the Argentinian was in the right place to get on the end of a cross by Zambo Anguissa that got knocked on by Thauvin, and he didn't let the chance to strike at Cardinale's goal go begging. With their speed, and playing with plenty of movement, the Nice players came very close to making it 3-1 through Plea and Saint-Maximin, but it was the Marseille players who were going to be the ones to put on a show at the Allianz Riviera. Amavi tore up the pitch like lightning, but his cross found nobody, unless you count Thauvin on the opposite wing. The Orléans native left Sarr standing then put in a cross. Lees-Melou threw launched himself at it and ended up putting the ball in the back of his own net. This stroke of bad luck for Nice proved the turning point for OM, who took the lead just before the break through Ocampos. After Nice fumbled and lost possession when bringing the ball out in their own half, Payet played a lateral ball to Gustavo. The Brazilian then took everyone by surprise by unleashing a powerful shot. Cardinale managed to stretch straight up and deflect it, but Ocampos came flying in and headed the ball into the back of the net. After having been 2-0 behind after just 17 minutes, the Olympiens went in for the break at half-time leading on the scoresheet. Simply astounding!
And it wasn't finished yet, because shortly after they came out for the second half Gustavo enabled OM to open up a healthy two-goal lead. The Brazilian sent a chipped ball forward down midfield before then firing in a shot and beating the Nice keeper. Unfortunately, the hero of the match – or rather one of the heroes together with Ocampos – was subsequently sent off following a clumsy tackle in the 66th minute, leaving his teammates to finish the game with 10 men against 11.
With a man down, the Olympiens had a hard time of things, but after Ocampos and Gustavo, a third Marseille player also distinguished himself. Steve Mandanda managed to keep out a number of Nice shots, and, most notably, saved a penalty from Plea, which would have allowed Nice to make it 3-4 in the 82nd minute had it gone in. The OM goalkeeper made a total of nine saves during the match. He was one of the main architects of the win, which was the Olympien's first victory on the Allianz Riviera pitch.
On Sunday evening, Rudi Garcia and his men achieved a highly significant victory away at Nice. They won convincingly against the team that finished fourth last season. They also now move up into the top three in the table and have opened up a gap of six points over their evening's opponents.