It was by no means a classic, but the Brazilian wrote his name in Phoceens history as he struck an extra-time winner for Didier Deschamps' men.In an encounter sorely lacking in quality, reflecting the mediocre campaigns of both sides, Olympique de Marseille picked up a record third successive Coupe de la Ligue crown by defeating Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 after extra time at Stade de France.
Moments of note in this encounter were few and far between, with technical errors from both sides disrupting the play almost as much as referee Stephane Lannoy’s frequent whistling for fouls. Openings in the first period were non-existent, and the first real effort on goal came when Morgan Amalfitano’s header was turned onto the Lyon post by Hugo Lloris.
Extra time finally brought some excitement, with Brandao’s turn and shot in the box beat Hugo Lloris from a tight angle to secure the crown for OM.
If it was Lyon which initially looked the more dangerous side, aiming to break Marseille’s offside trap, the team would quickly be repelled. The match degenerated into an ugly midfield battle, in which industry overcame artistry as neither goalkeeper had a significant test in the opening period.
An errant foray from his line by Steve Mandanda produced the best opening of the first half, but Dejan Lovren was surprised by the goalkeeper’s mistake and headed over the top of the Marseille goal under pressure.
The second half was certainly a more entertaining spectacle for the neutral, yet it was up against little competition. Marseille would certainly have the better of the early stages, with Mathieu Valbuena a particular worry to Lyon. Given room at the edge of the box, the midfielder bent a curling effort wide, and it was his cross the Lloris palmed Amalfitano’s header onto the frame of his goal.
Errors were still dominating the match, though, and neither defense was looking completely at ease. Lloris would charge unadvisedly from his line, but the ball did not break kindly for the Provence side’s forwards, while at the other end of the field Stephane Mbia was in rather bumbling form, yet he would also ride his luck whenever Lyon appeared poised to pounce on a slip.
The forwards were, in truth, every bit as poor, with Bafetimbi Gomis caught offside needlessly on countless occasions. Had he managed to steer Kim Kallstrom’s corner kick home with five minutes remaining rather than head over, these indiscretions might have been forgive.
An additional 30 minutes were inevitable, with Jimmy Briand badly hitting over after a rare moment of quality from Anthony Reveillere down Lyon’s right.
Instead, it was Marseille which made the decisive break. Latching onto a Benoit Cheyrou pass, Brandao’s touch looked to be too hard, but Lloris remained on his line and was helpless to stop the Brazilian’s shot zipping through his legs and into the net.
Andre Ayew nearly added another after the interval, but Lloris got across his line to save, yet Marseille did not need that second strike to pick up a piece of silverware that is starting to feel at home at Stade Velodrome.
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