Marseille ends Reims’ invincibility and regains 2nd place
Carried by Alexis Sanchez, Marseille recovered second place in Ligue 1 by winning at Reims (2-1), Sunday at the end of the 28th day, ending the series of 19 matches without defeat of the Rémois in the league.
Provisionally overtaken on Saturday by Lens (57 pts), winner of Angers (3-0), the Olympians are again second in Ligue 1 with 59 points, just seven units behind the leader, Paris SG, defeated earlier Sunday by Rennes (2-0).
The Reims defense, which remained in six matches without conceding a goal in the league, folded against the Marseille assaults, and Will Still suffered his first defeat in Ligue 1 since replacing Oscar Garcia on the Reims bench in October. .
With 43 points, Reims fell to 9th place, overtaken by Lorient (8th, 44 pts).
Uninhibited against a candidate for the podium who had beaten them 4-1 in the first leg, at the very start of the season, the Rémois opened the scoring in the 13th minute. After a magnificent control, Marshall Munetsi took the ball on the left of the surface before serving back Folarin Balogun, who scored his 17th goal of the season in the league.
In a totally unbridled start to the match, Marseille only needed a few minutes to equalise. On the engagement, Thibault De Smet made a big mistake on Cengiz Ünder, delivering a free kick 25 meters in the axis to the Olympians. A golden opportunity that Alexis Sanchez converted with a sublime shot in the bell, with the help of the left upright of the cage of Yehvann Diouf (16th).
– Alexis Sanchez’s view –
The vista of the Chilean striker again paid off a quarter of an hour later. After being forgotten by Reims captain Yunis Abdelhamid, Sanchez received alone against Yehvann Diouf a long ball from Pau Lopez, which he only had to push into the back of the net (29th).
Far from being defeated, Reims continued to look for the opener in the second half, and had several opportunities to equalise.
First, a header from Marshall Munetsi hit the outside of the right post of Pau Lopez (58th), then the Marseille goalkeeper deflected with one hand a free kick from Alexis Flips who was spinning in the skylight (61st).
Munetsi had a new opportunity a few minutes later, but Pau Lopez intervened on his shot (66th). On the counter, Nuno Tavarez dribbled Yehvann Diouf out of the Reims area but then completely missed his shot.
Reims midfielder Dion Lopy in turn distinguished himself a few minutes later with a powerful shot at the entrance to the area, stopped without difficulty by Pau Lopez (72nd).
Marseille never managed to score the KO goal, despite a great opportunity for Samuel Gigot, served alone in the box by Alexis Sanchez, but who did not frame his header (83rd).
In added time, Reims had a last chance to equalize but Balogun saw his shot hit Lopez’s left post (90th + 3), sealing Marseille’s success.