Marseille got back to winning ways with a 1-0 win at home to Bordeaux, Boubacar Kamara getting the goal to decide the rescheduled Week 18 clash and hand Les Girondins a third-straight defeat in all competitions.
Tuesday, 5 February 2019
Olympique de Marseille 1 - 0 Girondins de Bordeaux
Marseille's woes have made plenty of headlines over the past few months, but just when it seems their crisis was reaching its nadir - enduring a closed-doors sanction without a host of big names - Dimitri Payet, Florian Thauvin and Mario Balotelli to name a few - as well as having coach Rudi Garcia suspended, the boys in blue came up with the goods.
It was no walk in the park for OM, who were coming off consecutive defeats in a run of just one win in 12 matches in all competitions, but their task was made much easier when Bordeaux's Nigerian winger Samuel Kalu clattered through the back of Lucas Ocampos and was duly sent for an early shower (26').
While this dented Bordeaux's hopes of preventing a third-straight loss in all competitions, Marseille still had to get the job done and had a torrid time early on trying to find a way past Benoît Costil in the Bordeaux goal. Saves from Ocampos, Hiroki Sakai and Valère Germain lit up the first half but, Costil's good work came undone just before the break when Germain nodded down for a courageous diving header from Kamara at the far post (42').
The 19-year-old's first Ligue 1 Conforama goal turned out to be enough to decide the match, but OM did have to endure a nervy moment when, just before the hour-mark, Sakai lightly deflected Bordeaux top-scorer François Kamano's curling effort. The change in trajectory had Steve Mandanda beaten, but agonisingly for Les Girondins, the ball crashed off the top of the cross-bar.
THE PLAYER: Valère Germain
Often overlooked as a credible option at centre-forward at OM, Germain got through a ton of work keeping the Bordeaux defence busy before rising highest to flick the ball on for Kamara's precious goal. The soft-spoken forward even repeated the feat late on, but Bouna Sarr's resulting effort was ruled out for off-side. He may not get too many more chances to shine should Mario Balotelli hit his stride at the Vélodrome, but Marseille know they can count on Germain to give his all when the time comes.
THE STAT: 2
This is just the second win for Marseille in their last 13 outings in all competitions, a run that saw them slip to tenth place and crash out of both domestic cups, with the pressure on coach Rudi Garcia increasing all the time. This victory takes them seventh, just a point off the European places and nine shy of their stated ambition of a top-three finish. Meanwhile Bordeaux sit tight in 12th.