Montpellier: the notes of the match

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At the end of the 31st day of Ligue 1, Olympique de Marseille received Montpellier in a packed Velodrome stadium. In the event of a victory this Sunday evening, the Marseillais had the opportunity to consolidate their place as runners-up and leave Rennes three points behind. For their part, the Montpellier, who remained on a defeat against Brest, hoped to revive. In terms of compositions, Jorge Sampaoli decided to rest Dimitri Payet after Thursday’s C4 match, and therefore to align Amine Harit, in form.

After the good performance on the last day against Saint-Etienne, OM started strong against Montpellier. On one of their first chances, Dieng’s teammates opened the scoring. After a very good job by Harit, the Senegalese pushed the ball into the back of the net (1-0, 9th). A few minutes later, Dieng, again, got a penalty after a late tackle from Jordan Ferri. Cengiz Under did not need to be asked (2-0, 19th) and came to punish a Montpellier team which certainly deserved better. Because the band of Teji Sevanier got several chances, but lacked accuracy in front of the goal kept by Mandanda.

A not really dangerous MHSC

On returning from the locker room, Montpellier tried somehow to quickly get back into the game and thus shake up a Marseille in management so far. And everything could have changed after a ball from Kamara who launched in the axis of the goal. His imprecise pass deceived Gueye and Mandanda but Savanier rushed to hit the empty goal (51st). A failure that weighed heavily in the minds of Montpellier residents who, slowly but surely, were dropping in intensity.

Less sharp in front, more lax behind, Montpellier did not manage to reverse the match and the entry of the latest recruit Remy Cabella did not change anything. The Marseillais managed their lead without trembling and therefore validated a seventh success in a row in all competitions. The red at the end of the game from goalkeeper Omlin (90th) did not upset the end of the game. In the standings, OM remain second with 3 points ahead of Rennes while Montpellier is in 11th place.

Man of the match, Kamara (7.5): expected in the midfield at the start, the Marseillais slipped into central defense after Caleta-Car’s last minute package. Worrying? Far from it since the 22-year-old player released a high-flying performance. Between his incredible tackle in the area (14th), his good coverage (42nd) or his presence in the right place in the last moments (85th), he really didn’t miss anything in defense. His approximate pass after returning from the locker room (51st) could have revived everything, but the MHSC did not take advantage of it.

Olympic Marseille

  • Mandanda (5.5): holder in Ligue 1 for the first time since November 7 and the reception of FC Metz, the French international had a fairly calm meeting despite some interesting Montpellier sequences. Not sharp enough in the last meters, the Héraultais only worried him before the break with this shot on target from Mavididi (42nd). The second period was a long quiet river for “Il Fenomeno” despite this little scare following a misunderstanding with Kamara and Gueye (51st).

  • Rodier (6.5): still in this role of right side, the former Nantes player has evolved very high on the ground. It must be said that the little offensive animation of the MHSC in his lane helped him to bring higher, as with this superb key pass towards Harit which then brings the first Olympian goal (8th). He then continued his work in the second period to control Wahi, Savanier and the Montpellier, and his incredible volume of play helped him well. Replaced by Kolasinac (79th). The Bosnian came to bring his experience defensively so that his team did not get surprised at the end of the match.

  • Saliba (6): loaned by Arsenal at the start of the season, the tricolor defender is a key element this season in central hinge. That’s why OM want to keep him, and we can still understand why this evening. Serenity, important covers (20th, 45th+1), quality aerial play (45th)… The 21-year-old is already very mature in his game and even if we don’t see him all the time, he responds to each times present.

  • Kamara (7.5): see above

  • L. Peres (6): the strong Brazilian soldier did a good job again in his lane. Even if the opposing offensives were not so numerous, the native of Sao Paulo made several outstanding defensive gestures, such as his superb return in front of Mavididi (14th) or his intervention in the second half (53rd). Little work but a successful performance overall.

  • Guendouzi (5.5): Always as voluntary from start to finish, the player on loan from Arsenal spared no effort to make the transition between the lines, as on this beautiful inspiration and the pass behind for Dieng (28th). Defensively, he was also present in the work of recovery and withdrawal, even if the Montpellier residents were not very dangerous. But his performance was much lower than usual, and it showed.

  • Gueye (7): A surprise guest in Jorge Sampaoli’s XI after Caleta-Car’s warm-up withdrawal, the former Le Havre player was sparkling in the midfield. Positioned in front of the defence, the Gueye sentry swept everything up against the Montpellier, while participating in the offensive animation of his team. The Marseille public certainly appreciated his calm and his technical quality in dangerous situations where more than one player would have panicked. Replaced by Lirola (79th) who quickly took his place on the right side to lock everything.

  • Gerson (6): more and more efficient in recent weeks, the Brazilian has maintained its momentum against MHSC. Always just as fair on the ball and in his transmissions, the left-hander offered us a superb combination with Dieng who brought the penalty obtained by the Senegalese (18th). He could also have sealed the victory for his family in the area (74th) but missed. Defensively, his dangerous ball loss before the break could have been expensive (42nd).

  • Under (5.5): in his right lane, the Turkish winger did what he likes to do, which is to enter on his left foot and treat his partners with laser passes. He also tried his luck, without real success (7th, 39th), but the former Leicester player above all made the break by not shaking from the penalty spot (19th). Apart from that, the latter was not omnipresent in front but each time he touched the ball, there was danger. Effective and important. Replaced by Payet (60th)and the Reunionese did not necessarily bring a plus tonight.

  • Dieng (4.5): in the absence of Milik, the Senegalese had the opportunity to score points with Jorge Sampaoli. So yes, he opened the scoring on a caviar from Harit (8th) and got the penalty after a one-two with Gerson (18th), but the principal concerned too often made the wrong choice, like this race on a pass from Guendouzi and a ball a little too pushed. Author of numerous calls, the 22-year-old player was not clinical enough. Replaced by Luis Enrique (60th)who went to provoke Omlin’s red at the end of the match (90th).

  • Harit (7): in the absence of Payet, replacing at the start, the Moroccan had the keys in hand this evening. And on the lawn of the Vélodrome, the former Schalke 04 has often capsized the Marseille supporters with his breakthroughs, dribbles or ball catches. Above all, he delighted everyone with his ball call, his run and his decisive pass for Dieng on the opener (8th). Subsequently, the attacking midfielder brought accuracy and tranquility to OM’s game. A big game for the one who was replaced by the youngster Ben Seghir (90th+1) in the last moments.

Montpellier HSC

  • Omlin (3.5): the Montpellier goalkeeper was beaten twice at the start of the match, first at close range by Dieng after a good job by Harit (8th), then with a counter-foot from Ünder from the penalty spot (17th). He then won in his face to face with Dieng (27th) and came out well at the feet of Harit (46th) but he was sent off at the end of the match after his bad missed outing against Henrique (89th).

  • Cocoa (4): losing many balls, especially in the first period, the left side of the MHSC was also not successful in his crosses, with no success (0/4), which were, for the most part, captured by Mandanda… match quickly forgotten for him.

  • Steve (5): the young central defender trained at the club put in a good performance even if he was caught deep by Harit on the opener for OM (9th). He made good interceptions, like when he read the trajectory of a deep pass (22nd) or when he recovered a good ball in the opposing half of the field bringing the strike from Mavididi (42nd). Quite good in duels, he was however a little less so in the long game.

  • Sako (4): the defender trained at PSG had an average match against Olympique de Marseille. He followed well against Guendouzi following the ball from Ünder forward (45th), for what was one of his only duels of the match. Even though he was good in passing and in the long game, he still lost 8 balls.

  • Souquet (4): like his counterpart in the left lane, he lost a lot of balls. He was also not always well placed as on Harit’s decisive pass for Dieng (8th) and he missed a lot of passes (55%), also failing to cross (0/3). He was, however, quite good in duels (6/7). Replaced by Sambia (80th).

  • Leroy (5.5):the young Montpellier midfielder was pretty good in the midfield against the Marseillais. Not hesitating to make contact, he made 6 tackles, for 4 faults, one of which earned him a warning (66th). Attempting to play forward, he made a key pass.

  • Ferris (4): the former Olympique Lyonnais midfielder was warned for a foul in the area causing the penalty converted by Ünder (17th) and thus making the task more complicated for his team. Rather good in the long game, he however lost many balls and failed to win against the Marseille midfielders. Replaced by Makouana (80th).

  • Mavididi (3): Montpellier’s number 10 had a complicated match. He tried many dribbles (2/4), but was not always present in the duels as when he was well taken over by Kamara when he tried to enter the surface (39th). He attempted a shot on target at the entrance to the area cleared with fists by Mandanda after a high recovery from Esteve (41st). Replaced by Bertaud (90th).

  • Savannah (5): less successful than usual, the MHSC attacking midfielder still remained the guardian of his team’s game. Author of a powerful cross in front of goal after eliminating two Marseilles (14th) or of an almost on target shot after following well on the bad Marseille pass (50th), he however lost many balls (37), testifying to his risk-taking and a lack of solution.

  • Calf (4): not necessarily always successful in front (0/2 centers), the right midfielder was the author of a good defensive return in front of Guendouzi on the pass from Dieng (33rd). Replaced by rookie Remy Cabella (63rd)who was playing his first match since his return to Montpellier against one of his former clubs.

  • Wahi (2.5): the Hérault striker did not perform well at the Vélodrome. Rarely offering solutions to his partners, he did not touch many balls, lost a few too many. He also failed in duels, while missing all his crosses. Replaced by Germain (63rd).

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