Marseille go six on the bounce to beat Bordeaux
Olympique de Marseille came from behind to beat Girondins de Bordeaux 3-1 on Sunday and cement their hold on second place with a sixth successive league win.
Olympique de Marseille 3-1 Girondins de Bordeaux
Dario Benedetto's injury-enforced absence from the hosts' starting XI looked to be a blow, though Alvaro Gonzalez's return from injury was timely against a Bordeaux side that — with Josh Maja scoring a hat-trick — had dismissed Nîmes Olympique 6-0 on Tuesday.
Marseille had beaten Angers SCO 2-0 that same evening with a strategy of simply surrendering possession and waiting for their hosts to make a mistake they could exploit. At home against rivals for a top-three finish, Andre Villas-Boas could not be so conservative.
Bordeaux were indebted to a brave Laurent Koscielny block with his face to prevent Dimitri Payet's fierce shot doing any early damage other than to his dental work (4'), and Valentin Rongier (5') and Bouna Sarr (17') both fired wide of the target in a lively opening from the hosts.
Pablo then threw himself in front of another Payet blockbuster (23') as Paulo Sousa's men valiantly sought to keep the hosts at bay. Their courage was rewarded when they went in front: Koscielny played the ball out to Nicolas De Préville, who found Maja and he then teed up Yacine Adli to smash a shot from distance beyond Steve Mandanda (31').
Only a fine Benoît Costil save prevented Morgan Sanson from levelling before the break (45+3'), but the Bordeaux goalkeeper could do nothing when a Payet free-kick found Jordan Amavi at the back post and he headed home (48') to equalise.
With OM on top, Costil was required to keep out a Payet effort (51') and the Marseille midfielder sent a free-kick just over (55') before he teed up Rongier for a shot that Aurélien Tchouaméni's outstretched leg deflected over the bar (59').
It only delayed the inevitable for 60 seconds though: Sanson, superb throughout, picked up a poor Pablo clearance and whipped a shot beyond Costil for his third goal in his last six league games after failing to score any in his opening ten appearances (60').
Costil's reflexes frustrated Rongier (66') and Payet sent an audacious lob just over the bar (80') before Nemanja Radonjic scored his third league goal in four outings (90+1') as AVB's men threw down the gauntlet to potential challengers to their place behind PSG, now five points clear with a game in hand.
THE PLAYER: Dimitri Payet
OM have been looking for the old Payet to return, and in recent games they got a taste of him. In this one, he was vintage. A brilliant individual display that inspired his side. All it lacked was a goal.
THE STAT: 12
OM are unbeaten at home to Bordeaux in 12 league matches, last losing on 4 May, 2008. They have won seven of the intervening games.