Monaco 1-0 Marseille: Steve Mandanda error gifts Bernardo Silva goal

 December 14, 2014



Steve Mandanda error gifts Bernardo Silva goal and prevents visitors taking advantage of PSG defeat.

Marseille missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1, a defeat to Monaco preventing them from taking a major advantage over PSG.

With the champions having suffered a shock defeat away to strugglers Guingamp, Marseille arrived in the principality knowing a win would take them four points clear at the top of the table.

But a goalkeeping mistake from the usually dependable Steve Mandanda saw the league leaders slip up, as Bernardo Silva took advantage to score the game’s only goal.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, it was always likely to take a mistake, or a moment of magic to break the deadlock, and in the end the winner came from a combination of the two.

A lovely move down Monaco’s right hand side, the best of the match, opened up the away defence, with Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco and Nabil Dirar combining beautifully.

But, when Anthony Martial cut the ball back for Silva, he was afforded an inexcusable amount of space 15 yards out by a Marseille defence that had been bamboozled by a simple stepover.

Even after that, Silva’s shot should not have slipped through Mandanda’s hands as easily as it did, the keeper palming the strike into his own net.
Marseille deserved little more, creating few opportunities despite seeing plenty of the ball.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side had come out of the blocks quickly, dominating possession and territory in the first half without finding a way past Danijel Subasic in the Monaco goal.

Florian Thauvin, a constant threat down the right hand side, set the tone when his ninth minute cross was headed into the side netting by Andre-Pierre Gignac.

Soon after the winger produced another sumptuous delivery to the far post, only for Mario Lemina to see his powerful header drift past the far post having leapt highest.

The hosts didn’t create too many chances, but they did come closest to breaking the deadlock in the first 45 minutes.

Martial, leading the line in the absence of Dimitar Berbatov, took advantage of some sloppy defending to smash the ball past Mandanda, only to see his strike rattle the crossbar.

Mandanda was also forced into action by Ferreira-Carrasco, whose long-range drive needed a fingertip save to keep the scores level.

However, having survived those scares, Marseille should have taken the lead just before the break.

After Subasic had made a smart save to deny Brice Dja Djedje, the visitors were gifted a glorious chance from the resultant corner. Non-existent marking allowed Rod Fanni a free header from just five yards, but the defender contrived to head the ball high and away from the goal, with the goal gaping.

And the league leaders were punished for their wastefulness after the break, when Silva took advantage of some ropey defending and a goalkeeping error to score the crucial goal.

Originally published: Mail Online, Jonny Singer


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