OM 1-0 Guingamp: On the right track!

26 nov 2017
Frédéric Rostain
Photos © 
Roland Grunchec / Nicolas Copin / Helios Image / OM
Thanks to a goal by Florian Thauvin, OM get back to winning ways against Guingamp at the Orange Vélodrome stadium.

Informed of Lyon's big win in Nice (0-5) just before kick-off, the Olympiens needed to come out on top here to keep in touch with the top three. So they got their heads down from the start, depriving Guingamp of the ball and leaving them nothing but crumbs. Enjoying much more possession than their adversaries and with obvious defensive weaknesses on display, Rudi Garcia's men created several chances, with opportunities for Mitroglou, who had three of them, Thauvin and Payet from distance. It has to be said that the Bretons, who'd clearly come to Marseille with the intention of playing on the counter (they only had one genuinely dangerous attack during the first half, with the chance falling to Eboa Eboa, who failed to hit the target) and trying to get a draw, patrolled the pitch well and left little space for the men in white.
They finally found the opening they were looking for just after the half-hour mark. After a three-way play involving Sanson, Payet and Thauvin, the latter, working his way through the Guingamp defence, penetrated into the area and beat Johnsson with a diagonal shot to the far post. This made the man from Orléans Marseille's top scorer, with six goals to his credit. Mitroglou came very close to doubling the lead with a header but the opposition goalkeeper saved his shot with a good reflex save.

OM allowed the Bretons to come forward right at the beginning of the second half but then very quickly took control of the match again. Though there weren't as many chances as in the first half, the Olympiens had all of them. Sanson, well played into space byThauvin, saw his shot deflected by Kerbrat. Gustavo also tried to increase the lead with a long-range shot but Johnsson had it covered. Thauvin later had an attempt that just missed the top corner and the Breton keeper punched away a further shot from Gustavo. Ocampos, Zambo Anguissa and Sakai came on in the second half to add some freshness into the team for the tense final period, with Marseille just one goal ahead and not yet guaranteed the win. Fortunately, Mandanda and the defence were alert to the danger when it came to Guingamp's final opportunities.

The score stayed as it was. With a bit more efficiency and directness in front of goal, the Olympiens would have been able to win by a greater margin. But the basics are all there. Having drawn their previous two matches, they thus get back to winning ways and maintain their place in the top quartet, which is starting to open up a gap over fifth-placed team Nantes, who are now five points off the pace.