Buoyed by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s hat-trick, Olympique de Marseille defeated Ajax Amsterdam (4-3) to validate their ticket to the round of 16 of the Europa League.
Doctor Pierre-Emerick and Mister Aubameyang
Lacking in efficiency in Ligue 1 (only one goal scored), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang panics the counters in the Europa League. Preferred over Vitinha this evening, the Gabonese scored a hat-trick to take OM to a crazy success against Ajax Amsterdam (4-3). Calm about the two penalties he had to take, at key moments (9th, 93rd), “PEA” enhanced the evening with a brilliant acrobatic scissor at the start of the second half. Here he is top scorer in the C3 with five points on the clock (tied with Joao Pedro from Brighton) even if his automatisms in the game with his attacking partners remain to be refined. Like his team, Aubameyang prefers Thursdays to weekends. Ajax paid the price.
The racing car Ismaïla Sarr has found its engine
Very disappointing during his last outings, the Senegalese was the most dangerous Marseillais throughout the game. From the start, his running speed put the Dutch defense to torture, with Hato conceding the first penalty at his feet. Very physically fit, the former Rennais has never stopped proposing and provoking on his right side. It was he who felt the blow in the 93rd minute to obtain a second penalty against Ajax goalkeeper Ramaj, guilty of a big error. If his name does not appear on the statistics sheet, Sarr greatly contributed to the Olympian victory.
Clauss-Mbemba, winning recipe
More reuring than Samuel Gigot and Renan Lodi defensively, Jonathan Clauss and Chancel Mbemba also spoke on the offensive level. As on the pitch of AEK Athens (2-0) on the last day, a corner well struck by the Frenchman found the angry head of the Congolese, who now has three goals in this Europa League. In an OM still lacking inspiration, the connection between the two Marseillais in set phases becomes a significant weapon.
Joaquin Correa, failed again
Unfortunately injured following Berghuis’ dangerous tackle, synonymous with a red card, the Argentinian missed his hour of play. Positioned on the left wing, the former Inter Milan striker showed almost nothing interesting, even losing dangerous balloons. His offensive contribution remained very limited despite the spaces left by the Ajax defense. Alongside Amine Harit, also too discreet, Correa disappointed again. And he is still chasing his first goal in the OM jersey.
OM plays to scare each other
Miraculous in the 93rd minute thanks to Aubameyang’s penalty, Gattuso’s team almost let two points slip away despite three advantage in the score. The pivity and lack of concentration displayed by the defense, Samuel Gigot and Renan Lodi in the lead, allowed the very threatening Brian Brobbey to score a double. Even eleven against ten at the end of the match, OM saw their opponent pull together before the outcome we know. To get the machine back on track in Ligue 1 and survive in the final phase of the Europa League, the Olympians will have to erase their intolerable errors at this level.
Marseille can thank Ramaj
Not far from being flawless despite the goals conceded, Diant Ramaj, German goalkeeper for Ajax, ruined everything in added time. On a missed cross from Ndiaye, he inexplicably relaxed to recover the ball. Result, hand fault, uncontrolled exit on Sarr and penalty for the win for OM. The Vélodrome almost no longer believed it, Ramaj reignited the spark.