Olympique Marseille were held to a frustrating 1-1 home draw by Montpellier in Ligue 1 on Friday, unable to make up ground on Paris Saint Germain who still lead the table. The match was characterized by an early goal from Arnaud Nordin, cancelled out by a penalty from Matteo Guendouzi just after the hour mark. Igor Tudor’s side had been trying to close the gap with leaders PSG to four points before their clash with Lyon this Sunday, so the result was a bitter blow for OM as they now trail their rivals by six points.
Olympique Marseille have not won against Montpellier since 2017 and are winless in three meetings between the two teams at Stade Velodrome in that time. Marseille’s performance was lacklustre throughout and only improved slightly when Guendouzi was introduced from the bench in the second half. Despite this, Montpellier goalkeeper Dimitry Bertaud made several impressive saves to keep his side level before Guendouzi eventually scored from 12 yards out. In spite of this late rally, Marseille failed to find an equaliser and were forced to settle for a draw as they slipped further away from PSG’s top spot in Ligue 1.
It wasn’t all bad news for Marseille though, with captain Florian Thauvin making his return to first team action after weeks on the sidelines due to injury. The Frenchman helped provide some much needed spark in attack and showed glimpses of his talent as well as his importance in OM’s attacking options. This could prove crucial going forward if Thauvin can remain fit for the remainder of the season and help drive Marseille back into title contention. The result also marked yet another disappointing evening for coach Igor Tudor who has found wins hard to come by since being appointed last December – having only led OMto victory four times out of 15 matches so far this season.. Despite this, Tudor has shown signs of progress with Olympique de Marseille playing attractive football under him and managing some impressive results against top teams such as Monaco and Paris Saint Germain earlier this season.
As Ligue 1 enters its final stretch it will be interesting to see if Olympique de Marseille can turn their fortunes around and challenge PSG for top spot or if they will have to settle for second place again this year – especially wearing their iconic Olympique de Marseille jersey!