OM 3-1 Troyes: OM finish 2017 on a good note20 dec 2017
Christmas came early for OM fans at the Orange Vélodrome for the last game of 2017. Father Christmases descended from the rooftop of the Marseille ground to give out presents to the public, and spectators could win one of many unique prizes (including signed shirts and shoes...) via an app by answering questions shown on the stadium's giant screens. In short, there was a pre-match party. But once the game started, the time for gifts was over. Troyes certainly weren't giving any to OM. The visitors got the festivities underway with a free kick from Khaoui deflected by Giraudon, without troubling Mandanda. Before quarter of an hour of play, Pelé opened the scoring for ESTAC with a long curving shot that fooled Mandanda, a step forward.
Stung, the Olympians made a beeline for the opposing goal and an avalanche of opportunities for OM ensued. Gustavo began by warming up Samassa's gloves. Sanson, following a cross from Payet, got his head to it and once again the opposing goalkeeper dropped to grab the ball. Then Germain, well set up by a Payet in full form, saw his shot blocked. After half an hour of play, Thauvin gave Sanson an opening, whose header found Payet. A check, two touches of the ball and a superb outside right foot allowed him to find the corner of the net. The man from Réunion got things back on track.
Chances to double the score were there right up until the end of the first half but Samassa took the perfect position to repel an attempt by Thauvin, and Gustavo, after a good recovery, missed the goal.
As in the final thirty minutes of the first half, the second half also took a while to turn Marseille's way. They were in front when it came to possession and attempts on goal, but they weren't sharp enough to take advantage of a Payet corner, poorly handled by Samassa but saved on the line by Khaoui despite being surrounded by four white shirts... Until a stroke of genius from Gustavo. Well set up by Amavi, the Brazilian struck a half-volley and sent the ball just inside the post, with Samassa falling short of preventing the goal. The fans could finally breathe, as OM took the upper hand after trailing initially.
But Troyes refused to admit defeat. When a Suk header was deflected by Mandanda at the bar, the ball rebounded to the Korean, who just missed the woodwork. Well supported by Thauvin just before his substitution by Ocampos, Payet attempted a lob that was clever but went wide. Troyes played all-out and left holes in their defence. On the receiving end of a smooth pass from Sanson, the midfielder found Germain who had to do little more than tap the ball to find the back of the net. Payet gave the stands a final thrill with a free kick beautifully sent packing by Samassa.
All the leaders won on Wednesday night, so it's status quo for the top four in the rankings, but OM racked up their eleventh win of the season in the league and redeemed themselves after their defeat in Lyon. Players could say goodbye to the spectators with a smile. See you in 2018!!!