Sunday, December 6, 2009

Match facts: Marseille v Real Madrid

cristiano ronaldo real madrid

UEFA milestones
• None

UEFA Champions League statistics
• Brandão has committed 18 fouls to date, more than any other player in the group stage.

• Gabriel Heinze, Brandão and Stéphane Mbia are all within a booking of a ban.

Latest domestic information
• Saturday 5 December: OGC Nice 1-3 Olympique de Marseille (Coulibaly 33; Niang 19, Lucho 77, Koné 86)
Mandanda; Bonnart (Kaboré 83), Heinze, Diawara, Taiwo; Abriel, Lucho, Cheyrou, Cissé (Valbuena 67); Niang (Koné 86), Brandão.

• Mamadou Niang's opener against Nice was his first gosl in Ligue 1 since 4 October.

• Marseille had not won by more than a one-goal margin in the league since 17 October, when they beat AS Nancy-Lorraine 3-0.

• Substitute Bakari Koné scored OM's third – against his former side – just 28 seconds after coming on as a substitute.

• On 28 November, Marseille suffered their third Ligue 1 reverse this season, going down 1-0 at RC Lens. Eduardo hit the home side's winner in added time after OM goalkeeper Steve Mandanda had earlier saved a Yohan Demont penalty.

• The defeat was the first time Didier Deschamps's men had failed to score away from home this season since losing 3-0 to Madrid on Matchday 2, 30 September.

• Marseille have not won at Lens in the league since 2002/03.

• Fernando Morientes made his fourth start in all competitions since joining OM against Les Sang et Or, with all four of those matches ending in defeat.

• Mandanda has played all 1,260 minutes of Marseille's championship campaign this season, while Niang has featured in every game.

• The eleventh round of the Ligue 1 season was postponed to give the French national team added preparation time for their successful FIFA World Cup play-off against the Republic of Ireland. Marseille's meeting with FC Lorient will now take place on 16 December.

• Marseille are yet to lose a game when Brandão has scored, winning on eleven occasions and drawing twice.

Injury news
• Cyril Rool – out since 13 October (knee)
• Julien Rodriguez – out 15 April to 30 September and since 9 October (ankle)
• Stéphane Mbia – out since 20 November (ankle)

• Fabrice Abriel was voted Player of the Month for November by Marseille fans, following two consecutive awards for Niang.

• On 26 November, the French Football Federation ruled that Marseille must play one match behind closed doors due to crowd disturbances during their 2-1 loss to AS Monaco FC on 4 October.

• On 28 November, the Stade Vélodrome played host to a rugby match between France and New Zealand, which the visitors won 39-12.

Real Madrid

UEFA milestones
• None

UEFA Champions League statistics
• Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in the competition with four goals.

• Thanks to their 12 efforts overall, Madrid are joint top scorers in the group stage after five outings along with ACF Fiorentina and Arsenal FC.

• The Spanish side have also won more corners than any other club: 46.

• Madrid have collected 14 yellow cards so far, the highest total in the group stage along with FC Internazionale Milano.

• Marcelo and Lassana Diarra's next yellow cards will incur a suspension.

Latest domestic information
• Saturday 5 December: Real Madrid CF 4-2 UD Almería
(Sergio Ramos 31, Higuaín 73, Benzema 82, Ronaldo 84; Soriano 58, Uche 62)
Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Albiol, Arbeloa; Granero, Xabi Alonso (Drenthe 88), Van der Vaart (Benzema 62), Marcelo (M. Diarra 84); Ronaldo, Higuaín.

• Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty before scoring Madrid's fourth against Almería but was sent off in the 88th minute and will now miss the trip to Valencia CF on 13 December.

• With Lassana Diarra suspended and Kaká carrying a groin injury, Manuel Pellegrini gave midfield starts to Esteban Granero and Rafael van der Vaart against Almería. Ronaldo partnered Gonzalo Higuaín in attack for the second Liga game in a row.

• Madrid have won ten of their eleven contests at home in all competitions this season, with their only defeat at the Santiago Bernabéu coming at the hands of AC Milan on Matchday 3.

• Madrid slipped from top spot in Spain when they were handed their second Liga defeat of the campaign, losing 1-0 away against eternal rivals FC Barcelona in 'El Clásico' on 29 November.

• Zlatan Ibrahimović's second-half strike was enough to seal the 159th championship meeting between the two teams and send Barça to the summit.

• It was only the second time in 12 Liga games that Los Merengues had failed to register this term. The capital club had previously been shut out by Real Sporting de Gijón in a 0-0 draw on 24 October.

• The loss nonetheless left Madrid with the same points tally (28) that they boasted at the same stage of their most recent title-winning season, 2007/08. They had 29 points after 13 fixtures that year, two fewer than their current tally.

• Pellegrini's side have conceded eleven goals from their first 13 league fixtures, nine fewer than they had shipped at the same stage last season.

Injury news
• Cristiano Ronaldo – out from 10 October to 25 November (ankle)
• Lassana Diarra – out from 18-25 November (thigh)
• Raúl Albiol – out from 25-29 November (knee)
• Guti – out since 20 November (thigh)
• Ruud van Nistelrooy – out since 20 November (thigh)
• Christoph Metzelder – out since 26 November (hamstring)
• Kaká – out since 1 December (groin)

• Kaká aggravated a persistent groin injury in the lead-up to the Almería match. "He has been playing through the pain," commented Madrid sporting director Miguel Pardeza.

• On 4 December, Raúl González celebrated the birth of his fifth child and first daughter, María González Redondo.

• On 2 December, Guti celebrated his 14th year as a senior Madrid player. The midfielder debuted for the club in a home encounter against Sevilla FC on the same day in 1995.

• Ronaldo finished as runner-up to Barcelona's Lionel Messi in the running for the 2009 Ballon d'Or award, the result of which was announced on 1 December.

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