OM - Lens (0-1) : OM beaten
THE CAPTAIN RETURNS
Absent against Nimes due to a muscle injury, Steve Mandanda was back in the Olympien goal to face Lens in the ldelayed match of the 9th round of Ligue 1 Uber Eats. André Villas-Boas had to cope with several absences. Alvaro Gonzalez, suspended for the match, was replaced by Leonardo Balerdi in central defence. In midfield, Pape Gueye was the deep midfielder, with Boubacar Kamara suffering a muscle tear. The Olympian attack was led by Dario Benedetto surrounded by Florian Thauvin and Valère Germain. The Olympian recruit, Pol Lirola, couldn't participate in the match because he wasn't registered for the original fixture.
The composition of OM in 4-3-3: Mandanda (cape) - Sakai, Balerdi, Caleta-Car, Nagatomo - Sanson, Gueye, Rongier - Thauvin, Benedetto, Germain.
In a rather balanced start to the meeting, neither of the two formations really proved to be dangerous. Faced with a well-positioned and coordinated Lensois block, the Olympians tried to find the breakthrough. Banza thought he was able to get a goal with a Lens intervention, but he didn't count on Duje Caleta-Car's perfect return and tackle. At the end of the first half, André Villas-Boas made a change with the exit of Valentin Rongier for the entrance of Michaël Cuisance. At the break, both teams returned to the dressing room with a goalless draw.
THE SECOND HALF
On the hour of play, Banza opened the scoring with a header from Haidara's cross. This goal pushed André Villas-Boas to make three changes in one go with the entries of Payet, Radonjic and Perrin for the exits of Benedetto, Thauvin and Gueye.
The northerners left little space. On a good move, Payet got a free kick outside the area (79th). His shot went over. Soon after, Radonjic tried his luck from distance, but his shot was caught by Leca on target. OM bowed to defeat, and will face Monaco on Saturday 23rd January at 9pm