Lucho strike earns OM victory

OM have managed just three draws from their opening five Ligue 1
fixtures but Lucho Gonzalez’s second-half strike gave them a
deserved victory in this Champions League Group F encounter in
Piraeus. The French side had the better chances throughout and were
unlucky not to be ahead by half-time after Loic Remy hit the post.
The only downside for Didier Deschamps was seeing defender Rod
Fanni dismissed late on. Indeed, the visitors could have taken the
lead as early as the second minute when Benoit Cheyrou’s corner was
flicked on by Djimi Traore but Souleymane Diawara could not keep
his header down. Cheyrou tried his luck from distance after 15
minutes but the save was an easy one for Franco Costanzo. In the
19th minute Kevin Mirallas got a shot in on goal after good
interplay with Jose Holebas but Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda
turned the ball behind. Olympiacos were threatening now and
Mirallas should have done better with his shot a minute later when
Ljubomir Fejsa’s tenacity presented him with an opportunity. It
continued to be the French side who created the better chances
though and Jeremy Morel’s 20-yard strike drew a save from Costanzo
in the 23rd minute. And two minutes later the dangerous Cheyrou
picked out Morgan Amalfitano who could not find the target.
Marseille were getting closer and closer, Cheyrou heading Morel’s
cross fractionally over the bar in the 35th minute. And Remy was
left to rue his luck two minutes later as he came inside and
unleashed a shot which struck the post with Costanzo beaten. Six
minutes before the break Mirallas did well to beat two Marseille
players but his shot did not match his skill and it presented
Mandanda with a comfortable save. Marseille took a deserved lead
six minutes after the restart. Morel did well down the left flank,
beating Vasilis Torosidis and crossing for Gonzalez, who prodded
home from close range. Cheyrou continued to be a thorn in the side
of the Greeks and his 30-yard effort in the 62nd minute was touched
over by Costanzo. The hosts rarely looked like levelling. Jose
Holebas saw his free-kick deflected over after 72 minutes, while
Rafik Djebbour could not find the target from 12 yards after an
inviting cross from Torosidis three minutes later, but chances were
at a premium. Substitute Fanni, who only made his entrance nine
minute from the end, saw red for a late challenge on Mirallas in
stoppage time, but it was too late for Olympiacos to take
advantage. And with Arsenal drawing at Borussia Dortmund, it put
Marseille top of the group after one round of matches.