RC Lens – Olympique Marseille: Fluid And Flexible Marseille Seal Huge Win In Race For Europe (0-2)
RC Lens’ clash against Olympique Marseille had the potential to be pivotal for both sides’ campaigns for European football next season, as they were split by four points and as many places in the table going into the match. In the end, Jorge Sampaoli’s side emerged comfortable winners largely thanks to their flexible tactics.
Tactical analysis and match report by Neel Shelat.
Lens had a poor end to 2021 as they went winless in Ligue 1 in December, which slightly derailed their tremendous start to the season and saw them tumble out of the European spots. They were back with a bang in the new year, though, winning the Derby Du Nord against Lille in the Cup on penalties and following that up with two wins in two league games over high-flying Rennes and struggling Saint-Étienne, the latter of which was a comeback completed in the sixth minute of stoppage time. A win over Marseille would see them bounce back up to the Champions League places from seventh for the day at least.
Marseille, meanwhile, watched their upward trajectory rather halted in the disappointing draw against ten-man Lille last week, which meant they passed the opportunity to go second. They still had one game in hand over Nice, though, so they once again had the opportunity to leapfrog Christophe Galtier’s men with a win here.
Marseille maintained the back four system that they have used frequently of late as they lined up in a 4-3-3 . . .