OM face challenges in Lille

sun 30 sep at 23:27
Par 
Adam Geigerman
Photos © 
OM.net
A battle for second place in the Ligue 1 Conforama goes to the hosts thanks to two penalty whistles.

Olympique de Marseille paid a visit to Lille in the Matchday 8 finale on Sunday night, ultimately falling, 3-0. Both Les Olympiens and Lille entered on 13 points in fifth and sixth respectively. 

With maximum points secured thanks to a goal by Nicolas Pepe (65' PK) and a brace by Jonathan Bamba (86' PK, 89'), Lille leapt into second position by itself.

A tense start primarily contested in the midfield opened a scoreless first half. Teenage central defender Boubacar Kamara cemented the backline with five duels won and nine clearances while posting a 90 percent passing percentage alongside Luiz Gustavo, Hiroki Sakai and Bouna Sarr in defence. Gustavo stood in with armband as Dimitri Payet started from the bench.

The second half opened with a flurry of chances flying from both sides. It was 20 minutes into the final stanza that saw the first breakthrough. Pepe broke through into a 1-v-1 with Steve Mandanda, who committed to strip the ball in defence of his clean sheet. His hands made contact with the shifty Pepe, who stood over the subsequent spot kick and converted the match-winner.

Another fluid 20 minutes followed, with attacking entrants Payet and Kostas Mitroglou immediately took the field. It was a threatening period for les Olympiens when - against the run of play - Bamba converted from 12-yards following another referee whistle. Bamba struck again three minutes later from point-blank range off a feed from Ballo Toure on the endline.

Shifting focus to the Europa League group stage, Olympique de Marseille will travel to face Apollon Limassol in Group H action on Thursday.