This was on at the same time as Torino, but they overlapped, so I missed only little bits of each – finished later, too, so I got to see the denouement.
So, what happened? The Marseille under Bielsa have got a bee in their bonnet a little like the Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers last season. If you miss the first twenty minutes, you’ve probably missed the flags for how the game will pan out.
This match started with two goals before Les Verts really had time to settle; most satisfyingly from Dimitri Payet who, to me, looks like a player who will try everything when things aren’t coming off for him. Hopefully this goal will allow him to calm down a little, because he’s a fabulous player.
Unlike recent weeks (and perhaps mindful of their collapse at PSG) St Etienne’s opposition to Marseille was stubborn and dogged. They were compact and attacked effectively on the break, particularly during the second half when Bielsa’s side just slipped a little in terms of intensity. It would be easy to pin that on the switch of Payet for Allesandrini, but I think the introduction of Lemoine had a lot to do with it, and Van Wolfswinkel didn’t seem to do a lot, but he was well involved for someone who did so little.
In the end, St Etienne did get a goal back, and it ended pretty tensely, but Marseille held on – Bielsa has had quite the impact. I like it.
Entertainment Value? 6/10