"All on the same wavelength", the Marseillais take a break in the race for the Champions League

“All on the same wavelength”, the Marseillais take a break in the race for the Champions League

At the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium,

Nothing has stopped OM for a month, not even the few snowballs thrown by supporters of the Greens, this Sunday, in the direction of Dimitri Payet. Conquerors and inspired, the Marseillais signed without trembling a fifth success in a row, all competitions combined, in an icy Cauldron (2-4). “I think OM completely dominated here,” said Jorge Sampaoli. And when Cengiz Under came on at half-time, he let us take full advantage of that mastery. »

Because casually, the day after the date initially scheduled for this match, postponed due to heavy snowfall in the Saint-Etienne region, Marseille suffered a major blow from the outset by missing a huge chance by Dimitri Payet (5th ), before conceding a goal from Denis Bouanga on a big handball from Pau Lopez (1-0, 9th).

“We have a clear idea: to wear down the opponent in his camp”

“We take this goal but we stayed on what we wanted to do, and it paid off, notes Dimitri Payet. We have a clear idea, which is to play, to have possession, to create a lot of chances, and to wear down the opponent in his camp, no matter who he is or if it’s at home or away. We are happy when it pays like today. »

With 70% possession of the ball and 15 shots attempted at 5, OM stifled Sainté throughout the game, despite the headwinds of the first quarter of an hour of play. “When we conceded this first goal on a half-used, we started to doubt a little, recognizes Valentin Rongier. But we had control and we stuck to our game plan despite this goal, it was important. We are strong and all on the same wavelength, it shows. »

“We are more friends than teammates”

A finding that takes shape in particular in the reintegration of Amine Harit and Bamba Dieng, tenured, very hard-hitting, and scorers in Forez after having had a limited role so far this season with Jorge Sampaoli. Despite his role as a hybrid right piston, Valentin Rongier even found himself at the forefront when challenging Paul Bernardoni and provoking Timothée Kolodziejczak’s own goal (1-2, 60th). “Frankly, I don’t know what I was doing there, smiles the person concerned. I need to run and surpass myself, there it was instinct. »

This excess of function goes well with this workforce, like also Mattéo Guendouzi, brilliant decisive passer on the fourth goal of Amine Harit (1-4, 73rd). “We have a lot of fun on the field but also outside, confides the young midfielder of the Blues. Group life is very important and since the start of the season, we have been more friends than teammates. It is transcribed on the ground with great victories like today. »

Here opposed to Ryad Boudebouz, Amine Harit was decisive this Sunday in Saint-Etienne. – JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

The only club still in contention in Europe in the candidates for the podium

A victory all the more precious as it concludes a weekend where Rennes (3rd) and Nice (5th) were neutralized (1-1). Eight days from the end, OM therefore have the cards in hand more than ever to retain this second place, synonymous with a guaranteed return to the Champions League, with a three-point lead over Rennes and five over Strasbourg and Nice. And this despite his ambitions in the Europa League Conference, where he will face PAOK Salonika in the quarter-finals on April 7 and 14.

“We will have to fight until the end of the season because we have regular opponents, with complete and solid squads, warns Jorge Sampaoli. I think we will have difficult times and we must not relax. “Not the kind of face displayed this Sunday by his group, determined to sink the Greens as much as possible into a bad day.

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