Too handicapped by numerous absences, but also with a considerable lack of quality and ideas, Olympique de Marseille was joined at the very end of the match on Friday January 12 by Strasbourg (1-1) and was only able to take a point for his first Ligue 1 match in 2024.

Gennaro Gattuso had hated the first leg in Alsace, already concluded in a 1-1 draw and marked by a terrible second period which had greatly irritated and worried the Italian technician. The OM coach must not have loved Friday’s match either, during which his team, which had led the score since the start of the match, resisted painfully before giving in in added time (1-1, 90ᵉ 2) on a goal scored by the very young Jérémy Sebas (18 years old).

OM, which very temporarily moved up to 5th place, therefore failed to confirm its good end to 2023, ending with four victories and a 1-1 draw, already, in Montpellier just before Christmas. This will not console them and will not bring them any closer to the hoped-for Top 4, but the Marseillais and Gattuso have at least one excuse: that of a squad terribly weakened by injuries (two players), departures from the CAN (seven absent) and even the transfer window since Renan Lodi, who could leave the club, did not play.

Friday, Marseille started very well, however, with a headed goal by Samuel Gigot in the 3rd minute, after a nice delivery from Vitinha and a VAR check. Once the verdict was delivered, the captain of the evening went to celebrate in the arms of Gennaro Gattuso and their double roar was almost heard from the top of the stands. This first thrill was the hottest moment of the first period, poor in everything and just animated by an excellent save from Pau Lopez in front of Kevin Gameiro (15th) and a good header from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (25th).

Geoffrey Kondogbia injury

For the rest, OM had to run a lot to recover the ball and then lacked too much technical mastery in the absence of Amine Harit and a few others to succeed in keeping it, like certain openings or discounts in a touch of Gigot, with a random destiny.

But the good players did not return from the CAN at the break and OM still struggled terribly in the second half, playing everything backwards and backwards. In the 61st minute, Jordan Veretout could have driven home the point without a save on his line from Marvin Senaya, but Strasbourg was more dangerous, with many situations but few shots on target until the goal, and the impression that the Patrick Vieira’s players didn’t always know what to do with all this possession.

Before the equalizing goal, to make matters worse on the Marseille side, Geoffrey Kondogbia was injured, pretty much the worst thing that could happen to Gattuso. The Italian then launched Jean Onana, his only change before added time.

But Marseille ended up giving in and giving up two precious points. OM’s current resources – especially with so many absent – are very limited, as Friday’s match proved.