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.