Lucas Ocampos scored twice as Olympique de Marseille came from two goals down to claim a stunning 4-2 win against OGC Nice in the Mediterranean derby at the Allianz Riviera on Sunday.
Full of confidence after completing the month of September undefeated, Nice got off to a dream start as they raced into a two-goal lead at the Allianz Riviera. Mario Balotelli opened the scoring as he held off Jorge Rolando to head in a corner taken from the right by Pierre-Lees Melou (4′) for his fifth goal in five Ligue 1 Conforama games this season. Lucien Favre’s side then doubled their lead following another Lees-Melou corner that was not properly cleared by the OM defence. The ball came to Jean Michaël Seri and his strike from range beat Steve Mandanda with the aid of a deflection off Adil Rami (16′).
But Marseille pulled a goal back courtesy of Lucas Ocampos, who smashed home from six yards after Florian Thauvin had inadvertently helped on a cross by André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (26′). That sparked an incredible turnaround which saw Rudi Garcia’s men take the lead before the interval.
OM finish with 10 men, Mandanda saves penalty
The visitors drew level five minutes before half-time as the unfortunate Lees-Melou only succeeded in turning the ball into his own net as he slid in at the near post in an attempt to clear a Florian Thauvin cutback from the byline. And they then went ahead, Ocampos following in to head home after Yoan Cardinale had blocked a Luiz Gustavo shot (44′).
A shell-shocked Nice needed a good start to the second half but instead they fell further behind just three minutes after the restart, Luiz Gustavo producing a superb bit of play to steal a Dante pass from the toes of Nampalys Mendy before driving forward and firing low past Cardinale for his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal.
The evening did not end well for the Brazilian midfielder as he was shown a straight red card for catching Lees-Melou on the shin with his studs as he followed through after sliding in to win the ball (66′). But Mandanda saved an Alassane Pléa penalty awarded after Allan Saint-Maximin was fouled in the box by Grégory Sertic (83′), and OM held on to claim their first win away to Nice since March 2013.
A third straight Ligue 1 Conforama victory for Marseille lifts them up to third, just three points behind AS Monaco in second. Nice are 10th after what was their fourth defeat already this season – they were beaten just four times in the whole of the last campaign.
THE PLAYER: Lucas Ocampos
Ocampos has revived his OM career in spectacular fashion this season, quickly winning the trust of Rudi Garcia after returning from a year on loan in Italy. After coming off the bench to score the winner at Nantes in Week 2, he has become a first-choice starter and now has four goals in five Ligue 1 Conforama appearances. With Ocampos in such form, Garcia was able to leave Kostas Mitroglou on the bench for the entirety of the game while Valère Germain only appeared as a late substitute.
THE STAT: 1
The number of defeats Rudi Garcia has suffered against Nice as a coach in Ligue 1 Conforama. This was his sixth win, while he has overseen seven draws and one defeat, a 2-0 loss with LOSC in January 2013.