Ligue 1: Thanks to Dimitri Payet, OM can dream of Europe

Dimitri Payet against Reims, April 23, 2021.
Olympique de Marseille beat Reims with a brace from Dimitri Payet (1-3) and remain on the lookout in the race for Europe.

Olympique de Marseille beat Reims (1-3) with a double from Dimitri Payet, this Friday, April 23, during the 34th day of Ligue 1. Thanks to this victory, OM double Lens, which has a match in less, in the race for 5th place.

They scared each other. But they assured. Against Reims, the Phocéens recorded their first away victory under the leadership of Jorge Sampaoli (1-3). First asleep for 35 minutes, Florian Thauvin’s teammates woke up following the opening of the scoring on a corner from young Nathanaël Mbuku in favor of Reims (38th, 1-0). Lethal in front of the cages, Olympique de Marseille scored on his only two shots on target in the first period. A success that allows them to dream of the Europa League.

As against Lorient on April 17 (3-2), Pol Lirola and Dimitri Payet carried Olympique de Marseille this Friday. Very restless, the Spaniard increased the calls on his right side and hurt the Reims defense. And, finally, his debauchery of energy paid off. The player loaned by Fiorentina offered an assist to the Reunion, on the Marseille equalizer (41st, 1-1). With this goal, the Frenchman has been decisive in his last four matches played in Ligue 1. His best streak in the elite since 2018.

Four minutes later, the Marseille pair struck again. Pol Lirola launched the former Saint-Étienne player in depth and the latter centered perfectly for Arkadiusz Milik (45 + 2, 1-2), author of his sixth goal of the season. An offering that allowed Dimitri Payet to sign his 100th assist in Ligue 1, his 58th with OM. In legs, the Reunionese even offered a double, fifteen minutes from the end of the meeting (76th, 1-3). These two successful performances allow the Phocéens to dream of a qualification in Europe: thanks to their success this Friday, they climb to fifth place in the standings and overtake Lens, which plays Sunday against Nîmes.

But in this meeting, all was not rosy for Olympique de Marseille. Indeed, Jorge Sampaoli lost to injury, his midfielder Boubacar Kamara. Hit in the lower back, the international Espoirs asked for the support of the trainers to get back on his feet. Without success, since the defensive midfielder gave way to Valentin Rongier before half-time. Even if the former player of FC Nantes offered a successful performance for his return, the exit on injury of the player trained at OM is a blow for the Argentine coach.

Indeed, the French midfielder is an essential part in the system of the former coach of the Albiceleste and has a series of good performances this season. To go to Europe, the former Albiceleste coach will need Kamara until the end of the season. Even if Jorge Sampaoli said at a press conference on April 15 that he was not trying to go. Lens, competitor of the Marseillais for 5th place, will face Nîmes on Sunday.

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