Monaco dominated the first half, but Marseille rallied wonderfully in an exhilarating 1-1 Vélodrome draw. Europe-chasing Ligue 1 teams had a bad weekend. Lorient, who defeated Rennes in a Breton derby on Friday, was the only top-seven team to score three points. Marseille and Monaco’s 1-1 tie at the Stade Vélodrome was the weekend’s biggest match. Monaco had the league’s second-best away record. Monaco have quietly returned to Champions League contention after losing their Coupe de France final to second-tier Rodez and winning three of their four league matches since the World Cup.
Monaco dominated the first half, but Marseille rallied wonderfully too!
Monaco traveled west along the Mediterranean to close the gap on the club by five points and one spot above them in the table. Wins over Ajaccio, Brest, and Auxerre aren’t exactly exciting. Marseille equalized in the 83rd minute and won the game 3-2 in the eighth minute of injury time at the Vélodrome, one of the toughest stadiums in European football. Marseille had an opportunity to reestablish themselves as European contenders before the World Cup break. Marseille lost five of their next six domestic matches after winning six of their first seven. Igor Tudor’s failing team disappointed fans.
Marseille are flying three months after their Champions League loss to Tottenham. Before Monaco on Saturday, they had won eight straight. Some of these wins were against lower-ranked Ligue 1 teams or in the Coupe de France. Beating a creaky Montpellier or beating Toulouse doesn’t prove a team’s quality, but they’ve been resilient lately and showed it again on Saturday. Monaco, despite dropping Breel Embolo, tore the hosts apart in the first half and appeared set to improve on their good away form, but for some sloppy finishing. Monaco’s opener, a grotesquely sublime Jordan Veretout headed own goal from an Aleksandr Golovin free-kick, was a lucky break, but Marseille had produced little, and it appeared like Monaco would finish the day only a point shy of their hosts.