In-form Florian Thauvin was again on target as Olympique de Marseille condemned bottom side FC Metz to a 3-0 home defeat on Wednesday to move into second place in the table.
FC Metz 0-3 Olympique de Marseille
With OM unbeaten in nine matches and Metz rooted to the foot of the table with already a double-digit deficit to a place of safety, there was likely to be only one winner in the near freezing temperatures.
Metz though thought they had struck first only for Emmanuel Rivière’s second-minute effort to be ruled out for offside (2′).
There was no such mercy for the hosts when Thauvin set off from inside his half before eventually bending a shot beyond Eiji Kawashima (19′). It was a superb seventh of the league season for the France international, and his second in four days following his winner against En Avant Guingamp on Sunday.
Kawashima prevented Kostas Mitroglou doubling Marseille’s lead (28′) before Steve Mandanda was called into his first serious action of the night to put a disappointing end on a Mathieu Dossevi-led counter-attack (29′).
Breathing space came in the shape of Luiz Gustavo’s fourth league goal in France. Thauvin, inevitably, was involved, crossing for his Brazilian team-mate at the back post – one impeccable touch and shot later, and Kawashima was fishing the ball out of his net again (36′).
Thauvin headed a Dimitri Payet cross against the bar (51′) and sent another shot just wide (58′) before Hiroko Sakai and the former Newcastle United FC man teamed up down the right – the Japan international full-back pulled the ball back to Lucas Ocampos, who capped a routine OM win with a third (72′).
THE PLAYER: Florian Thauvin
Who else? The Marseille man is unplayable at the moment, and continues to produce one high-class performance after another, providing goals and assists. Rudi Garcia surely cannot ask for more.
THE STAT: 1
Marseille have lost just one of their last 14 away games in Ligue 1 Conforama – this was their seventh win in that run.