Ntcham's first OM start: Celtic midfielder hauled off at HT and given brutal L'Equipe rating

By John McGinley

March 4, 2021

Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham started his first match for Marseille since joining the French side on loan last night, but it didn’t exactly go to plan for him.

Ntcham has had to remain patient for opportunities since leaving Celtic during the January transfer window.

Prior to last night, he had come off the bench twice. His first start came away to our Europa League foes Lille, but he failed to impress in a 2-0 defeat.

With the scores tied at 0-0 heading into the half-time interval, Ntcham was substituted off and replaced by Saif-Eddine Khaoui. The home side would go on to win the match with two last-minute goals.

The Celtic midfielder was given a brutal match rating by the French press too. Leading sports newspaper L’Equipe rated his performance at a three out of ten this morning.

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

The outlet reckons Ntcham lacked ‘rhythm’ and that the game was clearly moving too fast for him. It’s also stated he was wasteful in possession.

A quick look at the WhoScored stats would suggest this to be true. His 73% pass accuracy was amongst the lowest in the Marseille team. Khaoui, his replacement, scored 83%.

There’s more scrutiny on Ntcham’s move to Marseille given the circumstances of his arrival and departure of Andre Villas-Boas. Clearly he won’t be delighted with how things went last night.

Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham on loan at Marseille / (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

However, it’s still early days for him in Ligue 1 and he does have a couple of months to prove he is worthy of a permanent switch to French side.

If they don’t take up a buy option on his loan deal, he’ll find himself back at Celtic Park this summer.

In other news, Celtic fans were delighted with Conor Hazard’s contract extension.