The Marseillais are currently experiencing a state of unrest due to their continuous disappointing performance in the Ligue 1 in 2024. Despite having an almost full cup, they are unable to taste victory, which is now a cause of anger and frustration among them. Since January, the team has been stuck in a rut, having gained only three draws and suffered a defeat in the league’s elite.
As per the data from Opta, such a poor performance by the team has only occurred once in the past 45 years, back in 2001, when they had two draws and two losses. This unfortunate statistic is indicative of the deep-rooted issues plaguing the club. The causes behind this dismal situation include an inconsistent team, an inept coach, overwhelmed managers, and an absent shareholder. Hence, it’s safe to say that the club is currently in a crisis.
The Marseillais were welcomed at the Vélodrome by a frosty atmosphere and harsh banners. They missed a golden opportunity to recover from their loss in Lyon, as they could only muster a draw against the 16th ranked Messins, who had previously suffered seven consecutive losses in the championship.
The match, which was the opening game of the 21st day of Ligue 1, quickly turned grim for Gennaro Gattuso’s team. The Phocéens found themselves with only 10 players after Samuel Gigot was sent off for a fault against Georges Mikautadze, who was in a position of the last defender (29th).
Numerous Missed Opportunities
The Marseillais, despite being a player down, had control of the match and had plenty of opportunities to score against Oukidja’s goal. However, the Metz goalkeeper, who was in great form that evening, managed to save a close-range header from Azzedine Ounahi (42nd).
The Marseillais, being persistent, managed to gain the upper hand after a goal from their new recruits. After Aubameyang’s strike was deflected, Quentin Merlin retrieved the ball and passed it to Faris Moumbagna, who scored his first goal for the club (56th).
However, this goal was enough to awaken the Messins, who were dormant until then. Just five minutes after Marseillais opened the score, Mathieu Udol, the captain of Grenats, equalised with a diving header from Camara’s perfect cross (61st). This quick equaliser didn’t give Marseillais any time to savour their goal.
Despite being in a numerical advantage, the Messins were unable to make a significant difference in the game. Christophe Hérelle, a player from the team, said that they need to work more on their tactics and maturity to be able to gain points in such situations.
With this draw, the Marseillais now have 30 points and have temporarily secured the 7th position in Ligue 1. However, this is unlikely to pacify the fans who expressed their disappointment by whistling at the final whistle. Moreover, the team urgently needs to instil a positive dynamic to improve their performance.