This weekend was all about surprise winners, with one of them being south-coast side Montpellier. After losing their first game at home to Bordeaux, La Paillade bounced back to shock neighbours Marseille with a stunning 2-0 win at the newly renovated Stade Velodrome.
It would be far too easy to go on about Marseille being the biggest losers, but let’s give credit where credit is due. Montpellier should be grabbing the headlines here.
Going into the game on Sunday, MHSC had only won once in their last 19 games in Marseille. That came back in 2012 when Rene Girard’s side went on to shock everyone and win the title.
That side was packed with players that have gone on to bigger things, and with Roland Courbis’ side now trying to recover from the loss of Remy Cabella to Newcastle, nothing was expected from this Montpellier team.
Marseille are struggling to get to grips with Marcelo Bielsa’s new system and Courbis played it to perfection. Attacking down the wings with pace and packing the middle of the park with hard-working players, it had the desired effect.
Anthony Mounier opened the scoring in the first half with a lovely chip over Steve Mandanda after the winger had ghosted in behind the OM defence.
Marseille pushed forward after the break, but some woeful missed chances, plus heroic goalkeeping from Geoffrey Jourdren kept the home side at bay.
To make things worse for Marseille, Montpellier went up the pitch and the combination play between Jonas Martin and Mounier put a chance on a plate for Morgan Sanson, the France under-21 midfielder was never going to miss from close range.
Montpellier take the three points home along the coast and it's back to the drawing board for Bielsa. It is clearly going to take time for his system to embed into the players' minds, but they won’t want to slip too far away from the European places while it does.