This OM has character.
Led by the score, Marseille went to win in Reims (3-1) and put pressure on its competitors in the fight for fifth place, which it temporarily seized, Friday at the opening of the 34th day of the League 1.
Applied and determined, the Marseillais delivered a solid performance, like Dimitri Payet, with a double and an assist.
And the Spaniard Pol Lirola was once again decisive, a week after his double against Lorient.
Led to the score after a goal from a corner from Nathanaël Mbuku (38th), the Phocéens reacted very quickly to turn things around thanks to Dimitri Payet (41st) and Arkadiusz Milik (45th + 2).
In the second half, the meeting was again packed in a few minutes with a shot on the post of the Champagne top scorer Boulaye Dia (66th), then the exclusion of central defender Wout Faes (69th) and finally a new goal from Payet. to protect OM (76th).
Five wins, one draw, one loss for Sampaoli
The record on the bench of Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli, who arrived in early March, is flattering with five wins, one draw and one defeat. This 15th success of the season allows Marseille, which now totals 55 points, to climb to fifth place, synonymous with European qualification. Lens and Rennes, which host Nîmes and Dijon on Sunday, are respectively two and four lengths behind the Phocéens. Reims, which had not lost for nine matches, remains stuck in 11th place with 41 units on the clock.
As usual, Sampaoli put on a show in its technical area ... and beyond!
Often in discussion with the fourth referee, the technician did not stop going back and forth in front of his bench and shouting instructions to his players, in particular that of moving higher and going forward by means of very noisy "Arriba".
To his great despair, his training was surprised on the first opportunity of the Champenois: on a corner from Moreto Cassama, Mbuka, despite his small size (1.70 m), scored with a header after getting rid of the marking of Florian Thauvin (1-0, 38th).
The exit in the wake of the middle Boubacar Kamara, hit in the back (40th), could have knocked out OM, but the opposite happened since the Phocaeans reversed the trend in a few minutes.
Well served by Thauvin, Pol Lirola, still very valuable, first overflowed on the right side before delivering a superb center back for Payet, who equalized with a resumption of the flat foot (1-1, 41st), then the Spaniard recovered a ball in the midfield and launched the Reunionese, who turned into a decisive passer by serving Milik magnificently at the far post (1-2, 45th + 2).
Back from the locker room, Milik missed the opportunity to widen the gap by stumbling over Predrag Rajkovic (62nd) and Dia almost took advantage, but his shot was deflected on the post by Steve Mandanda (66th).
The exclusion for a second warning from Faes (69th), marred by a prior unreported fault from Milik, sounded the death knell for Reims hopes.
Logically enough, OM killed the suspense in the wake: Thauvin served in the area Valentin Rongier, whose receding center was again taken to perfection by Payet, who offered his first double in the league this season (1-3, 76th).