Ligue 1, Round 13, 25/11/23
RC Strasbourg Alsace and Olympique de Marseille saw out an entertaining draw (1-1) at the Meinau on Saturday night, however, a point-a-piece suits neither side, with both desperate to end their respective winless runs.
Marseille, languishing in the bottom half of the Ligue 1 table going into the fixture, began with intent. Jonathan Clauss, who came through the academy at Strasbourg without ever making a first-team appearance, forced an inspired Matz Sels into a smart save from a long-range effort.
However, neither side had any control, and with both sides procuring dangerous situations with ease, a goal was an inevitability. It came for the home side. Ângelo Gabriel, a livewire as always down the right flank, burst forward with one of his now trademark direct dribbles before laying off Kevin Gameiro. The Frenchman’s driven shot was parried by Pau Lopez but straight back into the path of Gameiro, who fed Emanuel Emegha to score into an empty net.
Strasbourg once again had to rely on Sels to retain their lead. The Belgian made a spectacular save from Joaquín Corréa’s close-range volley. However, he could do nothing about Clauss’ volley just minutes later. The France international didn’t celebrate his spectacular volley from outside the box out of respect for his formative club.
Marseille pushed for a winner in the second half and Jordan Veretout almost got it just 15 seconds after the break. However, unfortunately for Les Phocéens, his volley flew the wrong side of the post. Amine Harit should then have done better after being teed up by Iliman Ndiaye, who had his best match in an OM shirt.
However, Strasbourg created chances of their own. Lopez saved well from Gameiro, but the latter should really have done better with his chance. Gerzino Nyamsi also went close, but no one went closer than Dilane Bakwa. On his return from injury, the French winger struck the bar with a curling effort, but ultimately, neither side could find a winner. Their respective winless runs therefore continue. Marseille have not won since 8th October, whilst Strasbourg have not won since 24th September.
Marseille player ratings
Pau Lopez – 5
Ronan Lodi – 4
As has often been the case, the opposition had a lot of joy down his wing. The former Atletico Madrid is the common denominator with Strasbourg having equal joy regardless of whether it was Correa or Ismaïla Sarr at left midfield. Lodi is creative going forward, but a liability out of possession so far this season.
Leonardo Balerdi – 5
Chancel Mbemba – 5
Jonathan Clauss – 7
On his return to formative club Strasbourg, Clauss was excellent. He worked well in tandem with Ndiaye and bombed up and down the right flank throughout. His finish for Marseille’s equaliser was befitting of a top-class striker, and it wasn’t his first such finish this month. The OM right-back was repeating the feat that he pulled off with the France national team earlier in November.
Jordan Veretout – 6
Geoffrey Kondogbia – 5
Amine Harit – 5
Iliman Ndiaye – 7
This was Ndiaye’s best game since his return to OM. He was brilliant in and out of possession, winning the ball back frequently and often in dangerous areas of the pitch. He was more effective on the ball than he has been in games since his summer move from Sheffield United and he was difficult to stop once he got in full flow. He could have got an assist had Amine Harit done better with his finish early in the second half.
Vitinha – 5
The Portuguese forward began brightly and knitted play together well coming deep when needed, but also working well off the shoulder of the last man. However, as the game progressed, his influence waned, and by the time he was replaced by the equally ineffective Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 67th minute, he had disappeared from the game entirely.
Joaquín Correa – 6
This was one of Correa’s better games. He was heavily involved in the first half and would have got on the scoresheet if not for Selz’s brilliance. He showed some nice touches but ultimately lacked end product, like many of his teammates.
Selected Strasbourg ratings
Ângelo Gabriel – 7
Ligue 1’s best dribbler was at his usual tricks. He completed all three of his dribbles on the night and is improving other aspects of his game, notably his hold-up play. He lacked end-product and should have done better early on in the game after working himself into a good position inside the Marseille box. The conditions are not necessarily created for Gabriel to shine fully, but he stands out regardless.
Habib Diarra – 5
Matz Sels – 7
A brilliant first-half performance the Belgian kept his side in the game. He made crucial saves from Clauss and Correa early on and he also showed excellent footwork and composure on the ball.
Emanuel Emegha – 6
Lucas Perrin – 7
The French centre-back made two crucial interventions, the first from Vitinha early in the first half and the second from Aubameyang late in the second.