Bayern - OM (1-0) : Measured afternoon for OM
After three games to get his feet on the ground, Andre Villas-Boas has lined up his core team to take on Bayern Munich. The two new recruits, Leonardo Balerdi and Pape Gueye started on the bench, while the Payet - Thauvin - Benedetto trio finally made their debut.
On the German side, Hansi Flick has also put his best 11 possible on the line with less than ten days to go before the last 16 second leg between Bayern and Chelsea.
Facing one of Europe's top teams, Andre Villas-Boas' men struggled in the first half. Although the Olympians held their nerve for the first ten minutes, the Munich side held on to the ball until the break. In the 19th minute of play, the Bavarians opened the scoring with one of their first dangerous chances through Serge Gnabry. The end of the half was more complicated, but OM were once again able to count on world-class Steve Mandanda, who made three fine saves in five minutes and kept his team-mates in the game at an important moment.
To start the second half, Hiroki Sakai replaced Bouna Sarr, the only change made by André Villas-Boas. Just as in the first 45 minutes, Lucas Hernandez's team-mates, who came on at half-time for Bayern, still confiscated the ball. Coutinho could have scored the breakaway goal but his curling shot skimmed past Steve Mandanda's left-hand post. On the hour mark, the two coaches decided to make some major changes to their team. Benedetto, Payet, Thauvin and Rongier were taken out by the coach and replaced by Aké, Radonjic, Germain and Strootman.
A few minutes later it was the turn of the latest Olympian recruit, Leonardo Balerdi, to make his appearance on the pitch at the Bayern Campus. At the end of the second half, the Olympians came out a little more than their last 20 metres but struggled to show any danger. With ten minutes to go, Gueye, Lopez and Khaoui replaced Kamara, Sanson and Amavi.
Marley Aké could have equalised at the end of the match following a magnificent move he had provided himself but his lob was too short to deceive the opposing goalkeeper. Despite an encouraging end to the game in which the Olympians managed to get more out of their camp, Steve Mandanda's team-mates fell by the narrowest of margins.
The Olympians therefore lost a second time, although they have nothing to be ashamed of against one of the Champions League favourites. Marseille's preparations are far from over. Next Wednesday, l'OM will take on Montpellier at the Orange Vélodrome, before taking on Nimes on 9 August and concluding their summer preparations on 14 August against Stuttgart, in order to be ready for the championship resumption on 21 August against Saint-Etienne at the Orange Vélodrome.