Lucas Ocampos’ late goal secured Olympique de Marseille their second successive Ligue 1 Conforama win with a 1-0 victory at FC Nantes on Saturday.
FC Nantes 0-1 Olympique de Marseille
OM came into the game unbeaten in their last 12 league games, a run carried over from last season and extended with their Week 1 victory over Dijon, and the visitors pushed early.
Ciprian Tatarusanu pushed out a Franck Anguissa shot (4′) and then spectacularly turned away a Florian Thauvin header — perfectly teed up by a Patrice Evra cross (7′) – as OM took charge.
Yacine Bammou’s early injury-enforced withdrawal (19′) — added to those of Valentin Rongier (11′) and Alexander Kacaniklic (24′) — did not help Claudio Ranieri’s men, soundly beaten 3-0 at LOSC Lille in their opening fixture. They might have found themselves on the painful end of a similarly hefty scoreline at the break but for Tararusanu.
Fortunately for the home side the Romania international had an answer to Valère Germain’s header (34′) and Maxime Lopez’s low drive (45′) to keep his team in it.
Steve Mandanda, barely employed bar a Bammou shot (6′) in the first half, did have to push away a Diego Carlos shot (59′) after possession had been ill-advisedly surrendered by Clinton Njie.
But OM, after again testing Tatarusanu through Lopez (75′) and Thauvin (78′), finally found the net two minutes from time. Had Germain connected as intended with Thauvin’s cross, the game may have ended in a draw.
However, the summer arrival from Ligue 1 Conforama champions AS Monaco missed the ball, allowing it to run to Ocampos, who fired home the rebound after Tatarusanu had saved his initial effort to net his first goal for OM since August 2015.
THE PLAYER: Ciprian Tatarusanu
Nantes fans will have left disappointed and concerned their side gave their new goalkeeper so much to do. But they will have been mightily heartened by the performance of their number one, who very nearly kept OM out to earn what would have been a barely deserved point.
THE STAT: 7
Marseille are now unbeaten in their last seven away league games, winning three times. It is their best run since the 2015-16 campaign.