Olympique Marseille – AS Saint-Étienne: Marseille Celebrate Their 120th Birthday With One Goal, Sealing Uneventful Clash (1-0)

In a not so brilliant, yet very important game, Marseille managed to be solid enough to get the best of Saint-Étienne and win the game 1-0. Benedetto scored on Marseille’s first and only real chance after half an hour of play, which was enough to seal the game. 

Tactical analysis and match report by Simon Piotr

Marseille and Saint-Étienne are two similar clubs. The most successful teams in the history of Ligue 1 with nine and ten trophies, large and historical fan bases, and now competing for the same spot in the League - around fourth or fifth place. If we dive into further details, we can even notice that both clubs have started the season with new managers, after respected and successful coaches left (Rudi Garcia and Jean-Louis Gasset). Even the structure of the squads is pretty similar, with former stars (Payet, Debuchy, Cabaye) surrounding decent level Ligue 1 players. 

Marseille and Saint-Étienne had four points before the game, but with reversed dynamics. OM started the season with a loss against Reims, then they drew the game against Nantes before winning the the Mediterranean derby away against Nice 2-1.On the other hand, Saint-Étienne won their first game, but then they drew against newly promoted Brest, before losing to the last season’s vice-champions Lille. The trip to Marseille therefore did not come at the perfect moment for them.

Having got rid of overpaid players like Rami and Gustavo, André Villas-Boas lined up his team in a 4-3-3 system, with Strootman as lone holding midfielder, Payet and Sarr on the wings with their new signing from Boca Juniors Benedetto upfront . . .

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