Football: Aubameyang scores against Rennes, has had a decisive week with Marseille
While he has had a mixed start to the season with Marseille, Gabonese international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has just concluded a week in which he has been ultra-decisive for the Marseille club, both on the European scene and in Ligue 1.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring from the penalty spot against Rennes on December 3, 2023. © AFP / NICOLAS TUCAT
By: Valentin Berg Follow
Is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's season finally underway? Author of a two-speed start to the season with the Marseille club and regularly under fire, the Gabonese international striker is struggling in Ligue 1 but particularly decisive on the European scene. His statistics are paradoxical: although he has only scored one goal in the French league in 13 games played, he has already scored seven goals in European Cups this season.
First a brace against Panathinaikos in the second leg of the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League last August, lost by OM on penalties, and five against Ajax Amsterdam in the group stage of the Europa League. He scored a hat-trick on 30 November, including a superb acrobatic return and a penalty in the 93rd minute to allow Marseille to clinch an important victory at the end of a hard-fought match against the Ajacides. At the same time, the Gabonese recalled that he had lost none of his control in front of goal, and that it was above all a question of getting used to OM in Ligue 1.
THAT MONSTROUS BUUUUT OF AUBAMEYANG! 😱
What a comeback from the OM striker to give Marseille 😍 the lead#OMAJA | #EuropaLeague pic.twitter.com/FRSBJGG9uk
— CANAL+ Foot (@CanalplusFoot) November 30, 2023
« I'm not making the start of the season that I'd like to make, I've got the balls »
Whistled by the Stade Vélodrome before the match on 30 November, Aubameyang first celebrated his first penalty while holding back. Ditto on his beautiful flip, where he gritted his teeth and hit her chest, his face closed. On the winning goal in the final seconds, he finally let his joy burst out by performing his emblematic somersault.
After the match, his teammates did not fail to praise the main attacking asset of the Marseille camp, after the departure of Chilean Alexis Sánchez to Inter Milan at the end of last season. "It's a sick goal, worthy of a great striker," said Amine Harit. "It's not that he can make a difference for us, it's that he's going to make a difference for us. We don't find out today. We know his quality and what he brings to us. I see him liberated since he's been here, he knows what he has to do. He has his ups and downs, just like everyone else in football," said midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia.
His coach Gennaro Gattuso also came to his defence: "He was one of the most important purchases of the summer... His name is Aubameyang, he didn't score much and he was slaughtered. But he's scored 200 goals in his career and he still wants to train hard. So it's normal for nights like this to happen." In a press conference on December 2, the Gabonese himself spoke about his start to the season and the criticism of Marseille fans: "I'm not making the start of the season that I'd like to make and clearly, I have the balls. It wasn't a challenge to anyone. They also want me to be good and score. I know it's coming."
🗣💬 "We're going to play a final against Brighton. I hope that this hat-trick will launch my adventure with OM. I thank my teammates for their support"
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's joy after his hat-trick and OM's victory against Ajax in the Europa League (4-3). pic.twitter.com/APbHUj6bqN
— RMC Sport (@RMCsport) November 30, 2023
Aubameyang finally scores in Ligue 1 against Rennes
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was therefore obviously eagerly awaited this Sunday, December 3 during the clash between Marseille and Rennes. Twelfth in the league, the Marseille club would have to rely on its striker to take points against Rennes who are hot on their heels in the league standings.
The Gabonese international quickly distinguished himself by converting a penalty against Mandanda (8′, 1-0) after a good break by Iliman Ndiaye on the left of the area. He then narrowly missed his technique by failing to control a long ball from Mbemba in the Rennes box (45′+1). He also lost his footing when he tried to swivel a volley into the box on a very good chance for Marseille (54').
After Wooh was sent off for an uncontrolled tackle on Kondogbia (61′), Ounahi allowed Marseille to take the lead with a superb shot under the bar (65′, 2-0). Ndiaye was then sent off after a tackle on Belocian's shin in the Breton box (68'). Very active in the match, Harit even came close to scoring Marseille's third goal after a good cross from Murillo (78'), before it was cancelled out for an offside position.
Coming off in the 70th minute to replace Vitinha, Aubameyang ended a prolific week with four goals scored in two games and allowed Marseille to move up to 9th place in the league table. Enough to reconcile with the Marseille supporters?
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