Champions League – Tottenham antisèche – OM: At eleven Marseille’s plan was (almost) perfect

Champions League – Tottenham antisèche – OM: At eleven Marseille’s plan was (almost) perfect

Champions League – Tottenham antisèche – OM: At eleven Marseille’s plan was (almost) perfect

The game: Penalty, few chances

In an opposition of three central defenses, it was the OM that made the first impression, setting the wall very high and nipping the English transitions in the bud. The Phocians, rather than equalized in the engagement, won the vast majority of duels in the first period, not being dangerous. The plan worked … until the 47th minute, and the exclusion of Chancel Mbemba.

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Igor Tudor then threw Leonardo Balerdi in place of Gerson, and Matteo Guendouzi dropped a notch in midfield. OM started defending with a 5-3-1, naturally folded and played the last twenty minutes without a single striker on the pitch. Up front, Tottenham provided a generally poor performance in attack, failing in 11v11 transitions and slow to be dangerous in numerical superiority. But the Spurs, more incisive after the entry of Dejan Kulusevski, have hit the only two occasions in the second act: two heads from Richarlison (76th, 81st). Clinical.

15 losses in 16 games, “but this time OM knows where they are going”

Players: Fortunately, Richarlison was there

If Luis Suarez did not exist in attack, they all have long done their defensive work perfectly on the OM side. In particular Valentin Rongier and Matteo Guendouzi showed a lot of activity. Then Chancel Mbemba saw red, before Eric Bailly and Samuel Gigot were themselves too relaxed in the air. Everyone has their own mistake. Fortunately, the Spurs were able to count on Richarlison’s formidable efficiency, because Harry Kane and Heung-min Son had little influence on the debates … but they led to the exclusion.

Richarlison scored two goals against OM on Wednesday 7 September 2022. / Champions League

Credit: Getty Images

The X Factor: A red that changes everything

47 minutes of play The two teams have just returned from the locker room when Harry Kane throws Heung-min Son deep. Significantly behind Mbemba, the South Korean dominates him in the race and pushes him to error, when he could start in goal. An indisputable red card that obviously changed the face of the meeting. Because at eleven against eleven, OM did better than even play.

The statistics: 2

Two goals for … two shots on target. Tottenham showed realism at Champions League level on Wednesday. Aside from a counterattack in the first act, Spurs had never worried Pau Lopez before these two shots from the former Everton’s helmet. With a little more rigor in marking, the Marseille club would have kept a valuable point.

The press release: Valentin Rongier (OM midfielder)

We are frustrated because we saw that at eleven against eleven we were even, if not better. We weren’t able to stay focused enough not to concede a goal

The question: at eleven, could OM accomplish the feat?

The expulsion of Chancel Mbemba will undoubtedly remain the great turning point of this meeting. Marseille did not suffer much in numerical inferiority, before this double from Richarlison in the last quarter of an hour. But one less, the Phocians have logically become more vulnerable, finding it difficult to continue to apply the same plan of the first period, which was already risky at 11 to 11 against this opponent.

Risky … but it pays off. Because in the first act, OM did more than just compete. We did not expect to see Matteo Guendouzi and Gerson insist so much on Cristian Romero and Clément Lenglet, nor Valentin Rongier follow Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg so much. At the risk of repeating ourselves, Kane and Son hardly existed in the house. It’s nothing.

So this question remains: at eleven, could OM have maintained this pace throughout the game? Creating the company of winning in England? It is far from forbidden to believe in it. Physically and in attitudes, the Olympians were on point. But there is a big reserve: if Tottenham have been silently offensive for a long time, the Olympians have been equally so. Apart from a long-range shot by Guendouzi (45 ° + 1) and a cross by Sead Kolasinac on which Amine Harit (74 minutes) could have been more incisive, Hugo Lloris did not suffer from a heat stroke.

He lacked that spark, that part of creativity or, rather, of genius. What Alexis Sanchez can bring, suspended on Wednesday. Or Dimitri Payet, who remained on the bench. Resisting until the last quarter of an hour, then throwing an “artist” at the end of the match to attempt the feat, this was perhaps Tudor’s plan. We won’t know. The eleven at home against Frankfurt next Tuesday will talk about the Croatian’s intentions. But putting “only” Guendouzi and Gerson in support of Luis Suarez, this Wednesday and in Ligue 1, already gives part of the answer.

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