Ligue 1: Brest plays against Marseille and takes second place in the ranking

As long as this continues, it will remain a surprise that will take getting used to

Ligue 1: Brest plays against Marseille and takes second place in the ranking

As long as this continues, it will remain a surprise that will take getting used to. Stade Brestois continues its incredible season by reaching second place in the Ligue 1 standings on Sunday February 18, on the evening of the 22nd day, after its success over Olympique de Marseille (OM) once again in the grip of the crisis ( 1-0).

At the Francis-Le Blé stadium, the scenario of the match added salt to OM's wounds and the Brest supporters were able to sing for a long time “And where are the Marseillais? ". Because their team survived a half-hour inferiority after the exclusion of Steve Mounié to claim victory at the end of the match thanks to Pierre Lees Melou.

The Bretons have 40 points and no longer have anyone between them and Paris SG who sit 13 points ahead of the French championship. For Marseille, who wanted to atone for having twice let an advantage slip away against Shakhtar Donetsk (2-2), in the first leg of the Europa League, it is a new disillusionment.

“We hit rock bottom,” admits Gattuso

“I think there is very little to say this evening, we just have to assume our responsibilities, ask forgiveness from the supporters, ask forgiveness from this jersey because, tonight, what we produced is unacceptable,” said thus recognized Gennaro Gattuso, the Italian coach of OM, who described himself as “primarily responsible” for the sinking. “I think we hit rock bottom tonight. We are in a whirlwind, a vicious circle and I believe that we must focus today on taking as many points as possible to regain a little bit of serenity,” he added.

With the worst record of the entire away championship - 6 points taken in ten matches -, OM have only 30 points on the clock and are gradually seeing the European places slip away.

“We’re not a real team, that’s what I regret. And eleven against ten, we were not able to worry our opponent. We are too fragile and unfortunately, at this level, we pay dearly for it,” admitted Gattuso whose team still only has one victory, in all competitions, in 2024. And again, against Thionville, National team 3, with a score of 1-0 in the Coupe de France.

With a team largely reshuffled at kick-off compared to Thursday to manage the accumulation of matches − Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started on the bench −, the Marseillais never seemed dangerous and ended the match with two small shots on target . The best opportunities were a header from Chancel Mbemba (36th) too far from a free kick from Jonathan Clauss, a shot from Aubameyang easily captured by Brest goalkeeper Grégoire Coudert, a quarter of an hour from the end, and a potential penalty not whistled for a contentious intervention by Pierre Lees-Melou on Iliman Ndiaye around the quarter of an hour of play, but it remains poor.

Lees-Melou scorer and man of the match

Failing to appear dangerous, Marseille had at least managed to keep a clean sheet for a long time against the team with the most shots on goal at home in Ligue 1. Goalkeeper Ruben Blanco had to work brilliantly on an overturned header from Steve Mounié from the 5th minute and at the feet of Mathieu Pereira Lage in the 42nd. Pierre Lees-Melou also had a shooting window in the 25th, after a dangerous loss of ball from Jean Onana, but the Brestois missed the target, as did Kamory Doumbia in the 29th.

After another dangerous header from Mounié, off balance, in the 55th minute, the Beninese striker made a stupid move by hitting Leonardo Balerdi in the stomach, which earned him a red card (60th).

But the balance of power did not change and after a smashed recovery which bounced above the crossbar, by Pereira Lage (69th), Marseille even cracked in the last moments. On a new ball lost in a dangerous area, Lees-Melou, big man of the match, nicely infiltrated on the right of the area to calmly adjust Ruben Blanco between the legs (1-0, 87th), at the greatest joy of a Stade Francis-Le Blé deprived of its kop due to a closed stand following a sanction from the League.

With its retention now in its pocket, Brest will perhaps allow itself to dream of a European qualification which would be the first in its history and, in the game developed for months, well deserved.

Monaco falls against Toulouse

Because behind the Bretons, there was trouble. After Nice's defeat on Friday against Lyon (1-0), another pursuer, Monaco fell on Sunday. The Rocher club, which fell to fifth place, lost at home to Toulouse (2-1) rather concerned about the fight for maintenance.

If Monaco was the summer hit, Rennes is the winter hit. The Bretons scored a sixth victory in a row by dominating bottom-placed Clermont (3-1), thanks to a double from their midfielder Martin Terrier, in great shape, and a goal from Warmed Omari.

Lorient is also continuing to make a good comeback. The Merlus beat Strasbourg at Meinau at the start of the afternoon (3-1), notably with a double from their rookie Mohamed Bamba. They are fifteenth and leave the roadblock place, occupied by Nantes.

For its part, Lens slowed down after three victories in a row in L1, conceding a 1-1 draw on the Reims pitch. By Wesley Saïd, Franck Haise's men immediately came back to score after Oumar Diakhité's goal at the end of the first period. But they were unable to tilt the match in their favor during a very balanced second half. The Sang et Or remain sixth. For its part, Montpellier crushed Metz (3-0), leaving the Lorraines (17 points) almost head to head with Clermont (16 points) at the bottom of the ranking.