Olympique Marseille – AS Monaco: Inconsistent, lacking composure, and absolutely thrilling (2-2)
In what was the best game of the weekend in France, Olympique de Marseille and AS Monaco demonstrated perfectly why neither team looks certain of claiming a Champions League berth this season. Marseille were gifted a golden opportunity to heap pressure on an inconsistent Monaco side when their visitors received an early red card but instead, a telling lack of composure left the hosts frustrated.
Tactical analysis and match report by Nick Hartland.
Gennaro Gattuso’s reign as Marseille manager began back in October with a visit to Monaco, in a fast tempo 3-2 loss. Since that defeat, results have improved under the Italian, but there is a tendency to drop points late in games, with the defeats to Nice, Lens, and their latest draw against Strasbourg all demonstrating this frustrating quirk. Victory against Monaco would still see Les Phocéens outside the Champions League places, but it would at least prove to be a benchmark for how the team have progressed under their manager.
Monaco’s victory over Marseille earlier in the season feels like a lifetime ago for the Principality. The club were on the rise and battling with Nice for top spot in the league. Now, with only nine points in their last thirteen games, Monaco have dropped down to fourth place, and internal worries within the club hierarchy have even led to some questions over the future of Adi Hütter. A convincing performance against their rivals Marseille would temporarily relieve some of the pressure that has been building.
Gattuso set his side up in a 4-3-3 . . .