Friday, October 23, 2009

Niang and his time to shine: Marseille vs PSG

The star of Olympique Marseille is undoubtedly, Mamadou Niang from Senegal. Big players, as well all know, can only lay claim to that that of 'greatness', when (and only when) they prove to be good consistently in big games.

For Olympique Marseille's Niang, this is it. France has it’s own Le Classique this weekend as the glamour clubs of the south and north, Marseille and PSG, clash at the Stade Veladrome on Sunday night.

Rivalry between the two camps crystalised in the late 80s, with arguably the most famous match taking place on the final day of the 1988/89 Ligue 1 season. Mirroring the epic events over the channel that year which saw Arsenal win the title at Anfield on the final day of season, PSG took on OM with both clubs tied on 70 points at the top of the table.

The winner-takes-all match was on a knife-edge until the closing stages, as Marseille midfielder Franck Sauzee scored a last-gasp 30-yard screamer to give the Southerners the Ligue 1 title. That winning season formed the foundation of a 5-year domination of French football by Marseille, though that ended in disgrace with the Bernard Tapie scandal in the early 1990s.

Violence has also surfaced on several occasions down the years when OM and PSG meet. During a Coupe de France match back in 1995, 146 people and 9 policemen were hospitalised after fighting broke out between the rival supporters, while the start of the 2000 French league season was tainted when an 18-year old Marseille supporter was paralysed for life after being struck by a seat thrown from the Parisians section of the Parc des Princes.

This time, Niang would face a PSG that is looking decidedly bad. Make it big, man. At least for yourself.

Credit to 101GG for the throwback!