Olympique de Marseille version André Villas-Boas completed Sunday at the Velodrome preparation by a logical defeat (0-1) in front of the Napoli Carlo Ancelotti, Italian vice-champion led by Belgian playmaker Dries Mertens, author of the only goal (38th).
A week of the resumption of Ligue 1 against Reims, and the first steps of the new Portuguese coach, OM, reduced by several absences, has exposed certain limits. Under the eyes of Argentine striker Dario Benedetto, present in the stands before Monday's medical visit and initial his contract, he suffered the absence of a true center-forward, and a successor to the ephemeral Mario Balotelli.
After dominating Bordeaux or Saint-Étienne, during his tour in the United States, Marseille ran into one of the very sure values of Calcio, which will start its championship in three weeks. He was never able to shake her up, or even really sit down.
Certainly, the successor of Rudi Garcia was deprived of several executives: the Brazilian regulator Luiz Gustavo, who is treating a sprained left ankle, dynamist Florian Thauvin, still highly anticipated, or Maxime Lopez.
During this meeting, played in front of 40 000 spectators and two bends already in effervescence, André Villas-Boas set up an organization in 4-3-3, with Dimiri Payet in center forward position at the expense of Valère Germain . At the same time, he started the young midfielder Florian Chabrolle, in the false airs of Maxime Lopez and rather at ease for an hour.
If the OM, under the impetus of Payet, put a lot of desire and determination to plunge into the back of the Neapolitan defense, he missed presence in front of the goal. Meanwhile Benedetto, it has framed a shot by Nemanja Radonijic, positioned on the left wing.
Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, who wore the captain's armband, behaved like the real guardian of his defense during the first period. Back in shape after a long preparation, the international goalkeeper saved his first time out in front of Lorenzo Insigne (11th).
Seven minutes before the break (38th), he could do nothing in front of the cross shot by Dries Mertens, at the conclusion of a superb collective movement initiated by Insigne and extended a pass back by Jose Callejon.
With Valère Germain, who came to the break in Bouna Sarr's stadium, OM controlled the game better in front of an Italian team reworked by six changes, but never worried goalkeeper Alex Meret.
Only the young striker Isaac Lihadji, 20 minutes from the end to replace Radonjic, ignited a good public Velodrome. However, it will take much more in a week, in front of Reims.
© 2019 AFP