Marseille Leading the Way to the Top of Ligue 1

Marseille's home form this season has put the reignning Ligue 1 champions just one point behind leaders Stade Rennes. Courtesy fredGLLS

By Ryan Fleming

Parity in certain leagues, at least so far, is becoming more apparent. In the Bundesliga, German giants Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen are struggling while Mainz and Borussia Dortmund sit at the top of the table.

In Ligue 1, much is the same … for now. St. Etienne is only one point off the leader, Stade Rennes, while Lyon finds itself in the bottom half of the table. Last year’s Ligue 1 champs, Olympique Marseille, find itself back on the path to success; on itself way to finding their rightful place at the top of their table.

Starting off the season with two-straight losses to a little know club, Caen at the Stade Velodrome and away at Valenciennes, immediately signaled the start of perhaps the falling of the typical French giants.

Bordeaux and Lyon have started off the new season in a similar, inconsistent and underachieving fashion – both finding themselves at the bottom of the table early on. Bordeaux, losing their star forward, Marouane Chamakh, midfield star, Yoann Gourcuff and its manager Laurent Blanc to manage the French national team, has its obvious reasons for struggling.

OL, though, are starting to show sings of improvement – getting points in two of their last three games. Gourcuff, Lyon’s newest signing, is finally settling in with his new club after being transferred from Bordeaux at the end of August. Perhaps it’s about time the young prodigy put his horrid World Cup experience behind and played with the sort of confidence and playmaking ability he’s known for.

In Marseille, the situation is a bit different. The players Marseille had paid for have started producing. The chief issue with the defending Ligue 1 champs is their ability to stay consistent. New signing, Loic Remy, though, cannot be put under such a label. In five games for OM, the 23-year-old has potted three goals including a two-goal effort last weekend in a 3-1 win over Lille.

“We controlled the second half well with a technical level higher than in the first half,” OM manager Didier Deschamps told ligue1.com. “We did well. Taking the three points is an excellent result, and given the results in other games this weekend, it’s an even better one.

“We’ll see what comes of it if we can be consistent. A win like this is very important.”

Marseille are currently tied for second in the league table with St. Etienne and Brest. With such a compact table (10-point difference between first and tenth) every game is more crucial than the last.

When Andre-Pierre Gignac starts finding ways past opposing keeper (one goal on 13 shots), Marseille will catapult their way to the top of the table.

It’s only time till Lyon come together as a team and march their way up. Until then Marseille are in the driver’s seat with the only road leading up.

Ryan Fleming can be reached at ryan.fleming@thesoccerguysonline.com.

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