PLAYER RATINGS | Marseille 3-0 Lyon: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Vitinha star in comfortable OM victory in rearranged Choc des Olympiques

Ligue 1, Round 10, 06/12/23

Olympique de Marseille continued their revival whilst Olympique Lyonnais’ downward spiral continued as Gennaro Gattuso’s men secured a comfortable and highly deserved victory in Wednesday night’s rearranged Choc des Olympiques (3-0). 

This time, Lyon made it to the Vélodrome in one piece. Lyon’s team bus was attacked en route to the stadium on 29th October, the date initially set for this Choc des Olympiques, with Fabio Grosso seriously injured. The Italian has since been sacked by Lyon. He wasn’t the only absentee this time around; Lyon’s fans were also banned from travelling in order to avoid a repeat of the violent incidents witnessed in October. 

This time, football thankfully took centre stage. Lyon had shown signs of improvement against RC Lens, despite a 3-2 defeat last weekend, and Pierre Sage’s men were organised in the early stages, however, that stability was shortlived. Marseille scored with essentially their first chance of the game. 

Rayan Cherki was too easily dispossessed and Marseille broke vertically, putting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang through on goal. The Gabonese forward was unselfish, teeing up strike partner Vitinha to finish. Aubameyang was at the heart of OM’s second goal too. This time, the former Arsenal and Chelsea man found Michael Murillo at the back post with a nicely dinked cross, and the full-back simply couldn’t miss from just a yard out. 

Alarm bells ringing at Lyon

It could have been three before half-time, but Anthony Lopes got down well to turn Jordan Veretout’s shot around the post. However, Marseille could not be denied for long. Once again it was Vitinha and Aubameyang who linked up to put the result beyond doubt. Vitinha showed great strength to win his duel with Dejan Lovren before finding Aubameyang in the box, whose finish past Lopes was emphatic. 

There were chances for a fourth. Vitinha saw a goal disallowed for a Samuel Gigot handball in the build-up, whilst substitute Bilal Nadir was denied his first OM goal by the foot of the post. As the game reached its conclusion, the intensity dropped considerably. Les Phocéens didn’t need to overly exert themselves to take all three points, which lift them to 8th in Ligue 1. 

Lyon, meanwhile, remain rock-bottom of the table and five points adrift of the relegation play-off spot. The alarm bells have never rung louder at OL, and Marseile will probably take great joy in plunging their arch-rivals deeper into their crisis. 

Marseille player ratings
Pau López – 5
Leonardo Balerdi – 6
Samuel Gigot – 5
Chancel Mbemba – 4
Ronan Lodi  – 6
Jordan Veretout – 6
Azzedine Ounahi – 6
Michael Murillo – 6
Amine Harit – 6
Vitinha – 7

He has arguably never looked as comfortable in a Marseille shirt. Gattuso’s choice to start him alongside Aubameyang looks to have been a masterstroke. The pair linked up perfectly, but even more importantly, Vitinha looked unburdened. This looks to be the formula going forward. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8

A near perfect night for the former Arsenal and Chelsea forward. He was highly efficient in his contributions, getting two assists and another goal. He now has five in his last three games in all competitions. This run of three games was highlighted as a crucial period in Marseille’s season; what a time to return to form. 

Lyon player ratings
Anthony Lopes – 5
Henrique – 4
Jake O’Brien – 4
Dejan Lovren – 3
Clinton Mata – 3

Marseille got so much joy down his flank, and he was absolutely nowhere to be seen on Murillo’s goal. His distribution was sloppy and his positioning was highly suspect. A night to forget. 

Paul Akouokou – 4
Maxence Caqueret – 5
Diego Moreira – 4
Rayan Cherki – 3

This was a discrete performance, to say the least. He essentially sat out the first 30 minutes. His only meaningful contribution was giving the ball away cheaply for OM’s opener. Despite growing his way into the game towards the end of the first half, he struggled to influence proceedings. He was wasteful in possession and wasted his only sight of goal by taking a poor touch that took the ball away from him. Cherki grew increasingly exasperated as the second half progressed and he looked almost relieved to be off the pitch when his number was called. 

Ernest Nuamah – 5
Alexandre Lacazette – 4

In contrast to his former strike partner at Arsenal, Lacazette had a quiet night, not dissimilar to the majority of his performances for OL so far this season. Aubameyang has begun to step up in recent weeks, Lacazette needs to do the same if Lyon are to save themselves from relegation. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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