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Tops / Flops Olympiakos-Marseille: decisive Valbuena, Payet without brilliance

A match full of Mathieu Valbuena who contrasts with the absences of Dimitri Payet and Hiroki Sakai: find the Tops / Flops of Olympiakos-Marseille (1-0).


Mathieu Valbuena is still riding

His start to the match was dictated by constant activity and a welcome direction of play on the wings. A little further back when Olympiakos was able to suffer, he has never been reluctant to come back to lend a hand. Brilliant in the second half, he was the great man of the Greek victory. Close to the opening of the scoring twice (52 ‘, 70’), he stumbled twice on Steve Mandanda. It is he who unlocks the match by recovering the ball before delivering a center love for Hassan in stoppage time. From the big “little bike”, executioner of his heart club.

Masouras, on the left all

The left side of Olympiakos was for a while the starting point for all situations in the Olympian area. When it was not José Holebas, also very enterprising, it was Georgios Masouras who gave all the sorrows in the world to a Hiroki Sakai who was passed on several times. He thought he had opened the scoring by ambush after Mandanda’s stop, but the VAR was finicky. It is again he who finds Mathieu Valbuena at the far post in the 71e minute. It is finally he who gives way to Ahmed Hassan (84 ‘) in a match where he could have been decisive more directly.

Florian Thauvin, a long entrepreneur

Not satisfied by his jewel against Bordeaux (3-1), Florian Thauvin had a lot of ideas when he transplanted his left foot before winding up in his characteristic style (5 ‘). An action from the outset that set the tone for an OM who was trying to gradually settle in the opposing camp. He favored the collective solution most of the time, as when he preferred to serve Payet than to shoot (32 ‘). He launched Dario Benedetto in one touch for what should have been the opener (46 ‘). He ended up dull, as evidenced by this abortive counterattack in the face of the return of Holebas and the impressive Ruben Semedo. It gradually disappeared from the debates until its release at the 82e minute.

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Dimtri Payet like a shadow

His free kick at half an hour into the game did not send any thrill to the impassive José Sa in Greek goals. An action stopped symptomatic of the lack of movement of the Reunion, aligned on the left side of the 4-3-3 of André Villas-Boas. He suffered in a match where OM did not have possession of the ball. His loss of the ball then in ideal position (51 ‘) could have led to the opening of the score of Olympiakos if the video had not canceled Masouras’ goal for a few millimeters. He continued to back up until he disappeared from circulation before going out a quarter of an hour before term. A match to forget for the number 10 of OM, usually present in major events.

Hiroki Sakai, often late

If Olympiakos has pressed a lot on his side, it is because the Japanese never succeeded in containing the offensive tendencies of the Holebas-Masouras duo. Often at the limit, it has come closer and closer to the axis to suffer the obviousness of the Greek centers. In the second half, he covered the Serbian Randjelovic at the start of the action that could have unlocked the match (52 ‘). More serene at the end, in particular by removing a ball from the head in front of El-Arabi.

Youssef Al-Arabi, imprecise

If the quality of the duel he delivered to the central Marseille axis is not to be called into question, his few head shots outside the frame finally relieved a Caleta-Car which suffered in the physical battle. Reported offside several times, he never failed Alvaro Gonzalez in the race. Much more comfortable with his feet, the one who scored a hat-trick last weekend in the league could have opened the scoring from the left without the rescue of Caleta-Car (38 ‘).


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