Clauss in full success, Merlin had difficulty… The tops and the flops

Pair of Milo Longhorned

Published yesterday at 11:57 p.m., Updated 9 hours ago

Jonathan Clauss and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shone while Quentin Merlin struggled. Frederic Chambert / Panoramic / AFP / JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK

Before their round of 16 first leg of the Europa League, OM continued to build confidence with this great success (5-1) on the pitch of bottom Clermont.


Clauss was unleashed

The Marseille full-back showed what he was really capable of bringing to this Olympique de Marseille. At the heart of recent turmoil, Jonathan Clauss responded in the best possible way on the field. In the first period, the Frenchman increased his calls behind the defense in order to cross towards his partners. Even if his crosses didn’t always hit the mark, he was responsible for Marseille’s first goal. In the second half, he did not drop in intensity. Still in this right lane, Clauss continued to multiply the races and project himself. He is rewarded by scoring the break goal with a pure shot under the crossbar of the Clermont goalkeeper (1-3, 66th). He could not contain his joy after scoring this beautiful goal.

Aubameyang showed the way

The Marseille striker perfectly takes on his role as leader of this new version of OM. If Jean-Louis Gasset was clear in designating him as one of the central pieces of this second part of the season, Pierre-Emerick Aubvameyang understood the message perfectly. Even if in the first period, the Gabonese lacked precision, but above all luck on his attempts, everything returned to normal in the second act. As a symbol, it was he who scored Marseille’s second goal to take the lead again at a time when the Phocaeans were in full doubt (1-2, 58th). Then he continued to weigh on this Clermont defense which no longer knew where to turn. He played fair and above all shows that at 34 years old, he can continue to shine on the European scene.


Nicholson didn’t find the flaw

The Jamaican striker had a complicated evening. Well taken by Balerdi and Mbemba all evening, Shamar Nicholson never managed to make any impact in this meeting. Too slow to go behind the Marseille defense, the latter also failed to impose himself physically in order to serve as a relay point for his midfielders. Too infrequently receiving the rare Clermont crosses, Nicholson still had a good opportunity in the second half, but he waited too long and Mbemba was able to throw himself at his feet to take the ball out for a corner. He also lost a lot of his duels (5/14 won) and he lost too many balls considering the few he touched (10 lost in total).

Merlin was disenchanted

The young left-back did not have a great evening of success. Often called upon on his left lane, Quentin Merlin made too little use of the spaces left by the CF 63 defense. When he projected his crosses rarely found the head of his partners (2/7 successful crosses) and on his combinations it seemed still lacking automatism in the game. Responsible for taking corner kicks, he also missed these. The former Nantes player lost a lot of balls (20 in total) which could have cost OM dearly. He also committed 3 fouls in this meeting. In the second half, the play was more oriented on the right side towards Jonathan Clauss, who was more successful for this 24th day of Ligue 1.


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