Pinzgau - OM (1-5) : A great first outing
THE FIRST HALF
Just two days after the Olympians arrived in Bavaria for a training camp, they played a warm-up match in Kufstein against FC Pinzgau, who play in the Austrian third tier. Andre Villas-Boas has named the only newcomer in the opening match, Pape Gueye, in his starting line-up. The former Le Havre man was on defensive midfield duty in a 4-3-3 formation, with Amavi, Caleta-Car, Alvaro, Sarr in defence and Mandanda in goal. In the middle were Gueye, Sanson and Rongier. In front, Benedetto started in the centre with Thauvin on his right and Chabrolle on his left.
The Marseille players were already setting the pace in the first few minutes against an opponent who, on paper, was below OM's level. Gueye and his tall stature were sought after from set-pieces, but he was not on target. Benedetto's shot just after the quarter-hour mark went over the bar. Amavi's run down the left flank did not result in a clear chance. The left back's cross, deflected by the goalkeeper, flew along the goal line without being touched on by an Olympian.
Thauvin tried his special, deflected by Colic into a corner. From the corner, shot by the Orleans native, the ball was extended by Caleta-Car to the far post where Gueye rose to push the ball into the net. It was a great way to celebrate his very first game in his new colours.
L'OM doubled the lead when Thauvin's corner was saved by the Austrian defence. Thauvin's cross was met by Alvaro. The Iberian defender leapt higher than his opposite number to head Marseille's second goal. The Spaniard was hit in the knee on the receiving end and returned to his place after being treated.
After that goal, OM lost control of the ball. However, the Austrians were not dangerous. They even struggled to break into Mandanda's penalty area. This allowed Marseille to practice their counter-attacking game. The first half ended with Chabrolle's cross for a Thauvin header from Colic, which Colic parried.
THE SECOND HALF
André Villas-Boas made many changes for the second half. Only Amavi, Alvaro, Sanson and Rongier were reappointed. The Olympians were on top of FC Pinzgau from the very first minutes. Germain's pressure paid off as the striker, positioned on the right, crossed for Payet, who scored the third goal without difficulty. Less than three minutes later, Sanson, on the edge of the area, struck a shot, with the help of the post, found the way to the net.
Despite Olympien dominance, the Austrians reduced the deficit when their captain Tandari headed the ball in from a corner at the near post. Khaoui and Abdallah made their entrance after the Austrian goal. Payet had a good chance on his own, but in a tight corner he could not find the target.
FC Pinzgau coach Christian Ziege was also making changes, changing the balance of his team. L'OM took advantage of this with a fine collective effort from Aké, Strootman, Payet and Khaoui. Khaoui crossed for Germain, who cleverly miscued the FCP goalkeeper to score Marseille's fifth goal.
Bertelli replaced Rongier for the last quarter of an hour. The young midfielder, who had been 17 for four days, was making his debut for the first team. Souaré, who also signed his first professional contract with OM in June, was also on the pitch for the final minutes. With changes on both sides, the pace of the game was slower, but the Olympians were hardly worried until the final whistle.
The opposition of the day will probably not be of the level of the teams that OM will face in the Ligue 1 Uber Eats or the Champions League, but after four months without playing, the Olympians have shown great things. Enthusiasm, combinations, good physical fitness (even if nobody played for 90 minutes), automatisms, promising youngsters, a signing in Pape Gueye, already at the level and a leggy Thauvin, who tried his "special", in particular, but in vain...
On Wednesday 22 July at 19:00, Marseille will be on deck again with another warm-up match against SV Heimstetten, a German fourth-division club (live on OM.fr and the OM Twitch channel).
Pinzgau – OM : 1-5 (0-2)
Referees : Mme Olivia Tschon assisted by Michael Egger and Engin Isgören
Goals – OM : Gueye (24), Alvaro (31), Payet (47), Sanson (50), Germain (72)
Goal – FC Pinzgau : Tandari (60)
OM (first half) : Mandanda - Sarr, Alvaro, Caleta-Car, Amavi - Rongier, Gueye, Sanson – Thauvin, Benedetto, Chabrolle
OM (second half) : Ngapandouetnbu – Sakai, Kamara, Alvaro (Souaré 81), Amavi (Abdallah 62) – Rongier (Bertelli 75), Strootman, Sanson (Khaoui 62) – Germain, Aké, Payet