Bordeaux 1 – Marseille 1 : thoughts, review

Dreadful haircut, dreadful mentality

As the French say, the mountain gave birth to a mouse. Bordeaux and Marseille ended up tying in a very tense game, which was far from a pleasure to watch, except for the last 10 minutes.

Bordeaux scored a very controversial goal in the stoppage time of the first half, when Marouane Chamakh leaped over Steve Mandanda to put the ball in the net, but appeared in the process to have puhsed  Mandanda while in air, which should have been called a foul but was deemed a legal challenge by referee Laurent Duhamel. All the Marseille players and the technical staff voiced in various demeaning ways their disapproval with the decision. Today, Duhamel declared that he “did his job”, that ” he doesn’t even want to defend himself and will leave all the pseudo-specialists debate the validity of his call”. If you ask me, this sounds like someone who is not really sure of himself.

Marouane Chamakh also shone, by once again proving his schoolyard mentality. Interviewed after the game, and facing the replay of the goal, he foolishly stood by his actions when the proof against him was overwhelming. I understand and appreciate the desire to win but not when it is accompanied by dishonesty and puerile behaviors, and blatant lack of respect for the referees. He is a quality player but his mentality is unacceptable, and I will not mind him leaving Ligue 1 at the end of the year.

After Bordeaux central defender Marc Planus got sent off after hacking Mamadou Niang who had broken away towards Ulrich Ramé (who came in at the 58th minute in place of injured Carrasso), Marseille put much more pressure on Bordeaux and eventually netted the equalizer at the 82nd minute, when Valbuena and Brandao took turns in deflecting a poorly taken free-kick, which ended on Benoît Cheyrou’s left foot, who crucified Ramé at short range.

Overall, the game was tense, and reflected Bordeaux’s season : lots of technical mastery, a strong defense irregardless of the situation, and an uncanny ability to make the best of a situation and get away with a goal. Sadly for them, Marseille was a worthy opponent and showed enough mental resources to finally get the equalizer.

My man of the match is definitely Alou Diarra, who proved that he can staff and control a midfield better than everyone else, except maybe for Toulalan, in Ligue 1. His experience, and sheer physical skills, prove to be crucial in such tight and hard-fought games. Given his über-strong season, I don’t see how Domenech could do without him this summer.

Bordeaux’s followers – Lille, Lyon, notably – will be happy to see the Girondins part with a few points, and hope to see this trend go on as soon as Wednesday when Bordeaux travels to Stade des Alpes to face hapless Grenoble.

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