Alexis Sanchez, Marseille
Match Reports

Sanchez double brings Still run to end

Sanchez double brings Still run to end

Match Reports
Publish on 03/19 at 23:04 - I. HOLYMAN


Alexis Sanchez scored twice after Folarin Balogun had put Reims ahead to give Marseille a 2-1 win on Sunday to lift OM back into second place in the table and end Will Still's 17-game unbeaten start to his Ligue 1 Uber Eats coaching career to an end.


Reims actually came into the match unbeaten in 19 games — the run had started under Still's predecessor Oscar Garcia — and with the Champagne side looking to grab a European qualifying place for next season.


There is a chance that Balogun, who is on loan from Arsenal, will not be at the club come the 2023/24 campaign, but he will have made a significant contribution to them getting there if they do make it. 


Within two minutes, he had forced a save from Pau Lopez (2'), and he then sent a looping shot into the net for league goal number 17 of the season following Marshall Munetsi's fine run and cutback (13').


The lead did not last long, but only because of the brilliance of Sanchez. A free-kick, centrally placed and some 25 metres from goal was always going to be a problem for the hosts, but the Chile international ensured it was even more than that as he clipped a shot in off the right-hand post of Yehvann Diouf's goal (16').



Sanchez soon moved to 12 league goals for the season, and gave goalkeeper Pau Lopez his second assist of 2022/23. Reims centre-backs Yunis Abdelhamid and Cheick Keita left it to each other to deal with the OM 'keeper's clearance, and Sanchez sneaked through to finish (29') as Reims, who had kept six successive clean sheets before OM's arrival, conceded two before the half-hour mark.


Munetsi, who was the stand-out performer for the hosts, came desperately close to equalising when he struck the outside of a post with a header (58') before Alexis Flips brought a fantastic flying stop from Lopez, who leapt to his left to paw away a free-kick that seemed destined to find the top corner (61').


Marseille's Spanish goalkeeper then denied Munetsi (68') and Dion Lopy (73') before Samuel Gigot — back in the starting line-up after a five-game layoff due to injury — should have wrapped up the points for the visitors, but the centre-back headed wide of an open goal (83').


More surprisingly, Balogun passed up a similar opportunity to equalise in added time (90+3'), but his shot struck the outside of a post to leave the forward with his head in his hands, and Still contemplating a first defeat in his senior career; Marseille move back into second place.


THE PLAYER: Marshall Munetsi

The Zimbabwe international did not get on the scoresheet, but came as close as possible without doing so and also brilliantly teed up Balogun's goal, his third assist in 24 top-flight matches this season, as many as in his first three seasons combined in the top-flight (68 appearances).



Marseille have won eight successive away games in Ligue 1 Uber Eats, equalling the second-best record in the league's history. Only OM themselves have done better back in 2009.


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