Ligue 1, Matchday 6: OM vs. EvianBy: Richard | September 25th, 2012
Another week another game where OM puts its 100% record on the line as our storied start to the season shows no sign of slowing down. Well to be honest this could have been the week that put a blotch on our record, certainly the long trip to Istanbul and hard fought draw would have some sort of implication on Sundays match right? Certainly OM are now making headlines as the team has gone above and beyond to preserve its unbeaten record. In fact to find a Ligue 1 side that won their first five fixtures, you’d need to look back to Bordeaux in the 1998-99 season. Yes they won they league and oh that’s right Elie Baup was also their coach as well. Want to go back even further the last team to win their first six matches in a row was Monaco and they did that back in 1960-61 season, and naturally they won the league as well. There is one teensy tiny glaring issue though during those seasons PSG did not exists in 1960, and in 1998 they were downright horrible. Point being it may take a record seven or eight wins in a row before we even mention that “C” word.
It is these sort of matches that really test a team, how well can we perform both domestically and in Europe? This has certainly been a hindrance to the teams aspirations in the past and hopefully we can share in success with both campaigns this year (fingers crossed). Evian entered the Velodrome on Sunday looking to build upon their own momentum with a huge 3-0 win over Bastia.
A little bit of tinkering on Baup’s part saw the inclusion of 18 year old Raffidine Abdullah in midfield role pushing the versatile Kabore to the right back position. Evian despite their lackluster record, held back nothing playing a very high line applying the pressure early on. 33 minutes in, a fantastic run by Gignac was foiled by a heavy tackle from Aldo Angoula resulting in both a free kick and yellow card. Valbuena being the choice for set pieces put in a beautiful ball that connected with Amalfitano resulting in a 1-0 lead.
It seemed business as usual as we go up, fail to build on our lead, and before you know it our opponents have us on the run. Now while Mandanda hasn’t been the busiest keeper in France this year, his saves have been crucial and clearly justifies his position a member of Les Bleus. With fatigue setting in Evian laid it all on the line forcing Mandanda to make two excellent saves. A second goal narrowly escaped Morgan as he directed a header just wide. Another win another clean draw and a continued effort in which all that were involved left it all on the pitch. In terms of additional accolades its refreshing to hear that Gignac was voted by the fans as Olympian of the month for his contributions this past August! More positives, more wins our guys overcame their fatigue to remain perfect allez l’OM!