At the Velodrome stadium,
The Marseillais will unfortunately not be “Forever the first”. Olympique de Marseille never found the solution against Feyenoord Rotterdam on Thursday evening, and conceded a draw (0-0) in the very tight semi-final second leg. A draw synonymous with elimination from this Europa League Conference, after the narrow defeat of the first leg (3-2). The Marseillais will not see Tirana.
Both coaches locked
No more open doors seen in the defenses last week on the Rotterdam side. After the river score of the first leg (3-2), Jorge Sampaoli, the OM coach, and Arne Slot, his Rotterdam counterpart, locked their defense in place for this second leg. The Argentinian had preferred Kamara to Caleta Car, faulty on the third goal of Feyenoord, in the first leg. Saliba, who displayed much more serenity than in Holland is the symbol of this defensive solidity. Except that opposite, the Feyenoord players were just as solid. Neither Dieng, nor Milik or Bakambu, have found the solution to offer extensions to Marseille. Annoying, as they dominated.
The Dimitri Payet Curse
Accustomed to these major European meetings, the number 10 of Olympique de Marseille could be the X factor for his team for a qualification in the final. His first half hour of play reminded us of him, with in particular this huge chance (20th), almost a carbon copy of his goal against Leipzig in 2018. But this time he chose his left foot rather than the outside from the right like four years ago and the ball flew over Marciano’s goal. His last opportunity of the match, since the playmaker had to leave his teammates in the 30th minute, with a calf injury. Like in the Europa League final against Atletico, still in 2018. It’s not easy to play big matches every three days at 35.
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The south bend, European evening ambiance
The north bend closed because of the incidents during the previous lap against PAOK, the atmosphere of the Vélodrome was based on the friends from the south. With a first message when the players enter the lawn, “UEFA MAFIA”, accompanied by a forest of smoke. The tone was set. The Ultras and the Winners gave everything to push their team, to the point of lifting Ganay throughout the match. Perhaps also thanks to the Depé bend, placed at the top of the side stand. We had to wait for the final whistle and the qualification of Feyenoord to hear the Dutch supporters celebrating this victory with their players.