With Reims in the midst of a remarkable run, the European places were within reach if they could keep up their momentum against UEFA Champions League chasing Marseille. It looked for all the world as though that would be the case when Reims flew out the traps and took an early lead when some impressive Marshall Munetsi work culminated in Folarin Balogun firing the hosts into an early lead.
However, that joy proved to be incredibly short-lived, as despite their dominance, Reims surrendered their lead in a matter of minutes. Alexis Sánchez levelled the scores with a sumptuous free-kick and the diminutive Chilean was at it again shortly after, latching onto a hopeful Pau López punt to coolly stroke Marseille into the lead. Those goals rocked Reims a little and they struggled to gain a foothold in the game before the break, but went into half-time buoyed by the fact they hold Ligue 1’s second best points average in games they trailed at the midway point.
Reims came out with a renewed optimism after the break and came within a lick of paint of levelling the scores inside 15 minutes of the second half. It was the duo responsible for the home side’s opener who again combined, but this time Balogun was the provider as he floated a perfect cross onto the head of Munetsi who saw his header crash back off the post. That chance seemed to spur Reims into life a bit as they started to gather some momentum, though that was in part aided by some shambolic Marseille defending.
That was creating a sense of nervousness in the Marseille rearguard ahead of the closing stages, but they ought to have been sitting more comfortable when Jordan Veretout nodded a header wide from six-yards. Even with the incentive of prolonging their eight match unbeaten home league run, Reims couldn’t rally enough to find an equaliser as they lost further ground in the race for a first appearance in European competition proper for 60 years.
Flashscore Man of the Match: Alexis Sánchez (Marseille)