OM - Metz (6-3) : game, set and match for OM!02 feb 2018
Friday night football returned to the Orange Vélodrome and with the reception of FC Metz, OM starts a new marathon of seven matches in February.
Despite the grueling sequence to come, Rudi Garcia decided to maintain a starting lineup close to the one lined up against Monaco last weekend – the only change being the return of Zambo Anguissa alongside Luiz Gustavo in place of Lucas Ocampos.
Metz meanwhile, remained on a fine streak with only one defeat in six Ligue 1 games. Frédéric Hantz's players came to the Orange Vélodrome with the idea of achieving a feat against the high-flying hosts.
However, it was Marseille who drew first blood in the opening minutes. With the first real chance of the game, it was Morgan Sanson who – while losing his balance – capitalized on some poor defending to slot the ball under the goalkeeper for OM’s first goal (6 minutes).
It was a bright start for the OM midfielder, who did not stop there. Three minutes later, he delivered a neat pass for Florian Thauvin who doubled the scoreline and put OM into a comfortable lead with a deft finish.
Marseille were very much in the ascendancy, buoyed by the in-form Thauvin, whose left-footed effort was denied by Eiji Kawashima (15th). At the other end, Steve Mandanda was kept busy, producing two superb saves to deny Nolan Roux (27th and 43rd). OM were unperturbed, however, and pulled further ahead just before the break (44th). Thauvin bagged his second, cleaning up on Germain’s goalbound shot.
Into the second half, OM began with much the same mindset as it ended the first: to attack and score. Thauvin repaid the favour to Germain, providing the assist for OM’s 4th (49th). He would later complete his second hat-trick in OM colours, latching onto Dimitri Payet’s stunning pass to put OM 5-0 ahead just before the hour (56th).
With the match more than sealed by this point, the goals continued to flow. Florent Mollet reduced the deficit for Metz, before OM exchanged another blow through Kostas Mitroglou – who tapped in a 6th (74th). Metz were lively through to the end, and contributed two late goals through Mollet and Ibrahima Niane to close out an enthralling game (84th, 90th).
At 6-3, the fixture certainly resembles that of a tennis match. But OM indeed notched its 15th win of the Ligue 1 Conforama and returned to 2nd place.
The Olympians continue to pile pressure on rivals Lyon and Monaco, who will meet Sunday at the end of Gameweek 24. A good opportunity for the men of Rudi Garcia, well installed in the sofa by Sunday night, to remain at the head of the pack, behind PSG.