Ex-Watford star costs his Ligue 1 side three points after HAT-TRICK of missed chances
By Alessandro Schiavone at Stade Saint Symphorien, Metz
FC Metz 2-2 Olympique Marseille
As FC Metz and Olympique Marseille played out a thrilling 2-2 draw yesterday night, former Watford star Ismaila Sarr failed in his fourth attempt to open his duck for the 1993 Champions League winners.
Yet he could have had three in the first half alone such was his excellent movement on and off the ball.
But while he failed to apply the finishing touch after being sent racing clear by Pierre-Aubameyang’s quick thinking to disappointingly roll his effort across the face of goal, Metz stopper Alexandre Oukidja produced one of his best saves in recent memory to beat the Senegalese's curler away in the game’s early stages. And the game was only a couple of minutes old when Sarr struck the post at the far-post. The missed chance count read three which are way too many for a player like the former Hornet.
Things didn’t go much better for ex-Arsenal and Chelsea striker Aubameyang after he saw his ruthless finish disallowed for offside at the end of the first-half. Lightning then struck twice for the Gabon star when he assisted Valentin Rongier for the visitors’ second only for the referee to spot a foul in the build-up after consulting the VAR.
Vitinha pegged Metz back late on when he deceived Oukidja on his near post after the promoted side had turned the game on its head down to ten men in the space of six minutes thanks to their kamikaze intensity and Marseille's own wobbling defence. Hence a deflected Sabaly stunner and Georges Mikautadze’s volley completed the shock turnaround.
Yet both keepers didn’t serve up a treat to the spectators as three of the game’s four goals could have been prevented. Just like Sarr who should have put the game to bed either side of ex-West Ham youth player Emran Soglo’s opener after 14 minutes, Oukidja conceded twice at his near-post as ex-Braga man Vitinha levelled this eventful game between Arsenal legend Robert Pires' former club late on. The 1998 World champion was an illustrious attendee in the stands and was spotted catching up with fellow ex Gunners Matteo Guendouzi and Aubameyang after the game.
Out of the Champions League in the third qualifying round against Panathinaikos this week and yet to score, Sarr’s return to French football after four years away is proving harder than anticipated.
16 Oukidja- 2 Colin- 5 Cande- 8 Traore- 15 Ababacar- 6 N’Doram-10 Maziz- 26 Mbaye- 27 Jean Jacques- 9 Mikautadze- 14 Sabaly
16 Pau Lopez-5 Balerdi- 7 Clauss- 12 Lodi-37 Soglo- 99 Mbemba- 19 Kondogbia-21 Rongier- 10 Aubameyang- 23 Sarr- 29 Ndiaye