Coupe de France: OM vs ReimsBy: Richard | January 7th, 2014
The reign of Anigo continues with another win and progression in the Coupe de France! It may have been scrappy, and yes it took a while but we did it! In a game that in all actuality should have been put to bed by the fifth minute, Marseille scraped by / trounced Reims 2-0.
Apart from the absence of Mandanda, Anigo cut no corners in his starting eleven. This was evident from the get go as OM played some of their fiercest football this season. Okay this is a half truth so how about fiercest 20 minutes of football this season? Nonetheless we should have been up by a goal within the first five minutes! But the luck of the crossbar, and some break neck defending kept things even.
We’ve all seen this before from OM as they dominate the pitch, yet fail to garner a goal. Countless shots were saved, went wide, or were just squandered. While our attackers were a bit frustrated, our defense was clinical in denying Reims a goal. While I’m usually overly critical of our fullbacks, I will give credit to their performances tonight. By no means an amazing game from Mendy and Abdallah, it was good enough to secure the win.
While I’ve been clamoring on about how we need some new fullbacks in the mix, we finally got one! We saw the debut of young Laurent Abergel. It’s always refreshing to see players from our youth squad integrate into first team play. Calm and collected, Abergel linked up well with the rest of our squad, I certainly want to see more from him!. As for our centre-backs, Diawara looked the role of the captain, and Nico was his usual self a defensive anchor.
How can I forget the performance of Brice Samba? Certainly a debut to remember from the 19 year old! Superb positioning and great reflexes, Mandanda watch out! Joking aside it’s assuring to know that we can turn to a player like him in these situations. It was though his efforts that we even had the opportunity to take the game into extra time.
We can’t praise everyone though and I have to call out Saber Khalifa on his “performance” last night. First and foremost you know my stance on players; I give them a year before casting final judgment. Saber I’m pulling for you I really am, but you need to up your game! This brings me to this motion that Saber was doing last night, it really irked me. Every time he approached goal he throws both his hands in front as if to say “I can’t go this alone!” This happened literally every time, and I’ve noticed it in previous games too. Please stop doing this! If you have to go it alone then so be it! You are a striker by nature not a defender out of his depth.
Now it’s time for the obligatory Gignac is a hero yadda yadda bit. Held at bay for 90 minutes, he finally broke down the Reims defense to get his brace. The cynic in me can only say, next time do it within regulation please!
Progressing to the round of 32, OM will now square off with OGC Nice. These draws have been anything but favorable for us but what can you do? Hopefully we can get a bit of revenge for the defeat Nice inflicted on us back in week 10! As always sound off below with your thoughts and comments and allez l’OM!