is OM’s record against “small” teams so bad?

Olympique de Marseille, against Hyères FC (National 2) this Saturday in the 32nd final of the Coupe de France, have a bad habit of being surprised by the “small” teams in this competition. With five eliminations against semi-professional or amateur clubs, the Phocaeans are definitely one of Ligue 1’s bad students of the 21st century. But one team has done worse over the last two decades.

OM supporters have never been away from this. Whenever their team has played an amateur or semi-professional club in the Coupe de France, they have had to endure a lot of disappointment over their humiliating past against these famous “little kids”. But, while Marseille face Hyères FC (N2) this Saturday in its 32nd final (15:30), is the accepted notion that the Phocaeans fall into the trap more often than any other verified Ligue 1 side?

>> Coupe de France: all the information before the 32nd final

Since the start of the 21st century, OM have had five road trips against teams playing at least two levels lower: Carquefou (CFA2, round of 16 in 2008), Quevilly (National, quarter-finals in 2012), Grenoble (CFA, 32nd final in 2015), Andrézieux (National 2, 32nd final in 2019) and Canet-en Roussillon (National 2, 16th final 2021). Hence, over 13 editions, the Olympians fell a little more than once every three years on average.

Those numbers seem telling. But the question now is to find out where OM stands in comparison to other elite teams. To answer this question, RMC Sport looks at the elimination of Ligue 1 clubs against smaller clubs in the 21st century. The methodology: look at how many times elite formations have lost against teams playing in the third tier onwards since the 1999-2000 edition.

Bordeaux, the most “cursed” team in Ligue 1 of the 21st century

In this minor fixture, only one team has done worse than OM over the period: Girondins de Bordeaux. Over the last two decades, the scapular club have been knocked out of the Coupe de France seven times by teams from N1, N2 or N3 (ex-National, CFA and CFA2) while playing in Ligue 1. order: Calais RUFC (CFA ) in year 2000, Lusitanos Saint-Maur (National) in 2002, Bayonne (CFA) in 2004, Montceau Bourgogne (CFA) in 2007, Ile-Rousse (CFA2) in 2014, Granville (National 2) in 2018 and Pau (National) in 2020. This is enough argumentation for the Marseillais who are tired of sifting.

Several Ligue 1 teams have also been knocked out by minors four times since 2000. Lille (Libourne Saint-Seurin in 2002, Colmar in 2010, Trélissac in 2016, Epinal in 2020), Rennes (Amiens in 2001, Romorantin in 2007, Quevilly in 2010 and 2012), Lens (Besançon in 2000, Dijon in 2004, Montceau Bourgogne in 2007, Red Star in 2021) and Nice (Gazélec Ajaccio in 2000, Nîmes in 2005, Plabennec in 2010 and Red Star in 2020) crashed “only” once less than OM against amateur or semi-professional clubs when playing in Ligue 1.

PSG and OL managed this encounter better

For Marseille, the label “big” being systematically (or nearly) shocked by small can also be explained by the fact that other cadres of French football have become accustomed to better organizing these encounters. Alongside OM, PSG (elimination against Rodez, then at National, in 2009) and OL (two eliminations against Epinal and Libourne Saint-Seurin, at National and CFA2 respectively in 2013 and 2003) pass for good students. For its part, Monaco has suffered this form of humiliation three times since 2000 (Chambéry in 2011, Colmar in 2006, ASOA Valence in 2001).

It should be noted that with only one elimination (US Boulogne in 2006), FC Nantes, along with PSG, is the team accustomed to playing in Ligue 1 that has been the least surprised since the beginning of the 21st century, even if five seasons spent in Ligue 2 during this period would certainly is a small advantage for the Canaries. From now on, it remains to be seen which Ligue 1 formation will add a road trip against amateur or semi-pro clubs to his CV at the end of this 2022-2023 edition. With our stats update expected this weekend during the 32nd final?

Felix Gabory RMC Sport reporter

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