The finale remains in sight and, given the difficulties encountered during the evening, it is ultimately the essence. Olympique de Marseille (OM) was defeated by Feyenoord (2-3) in the semi-finals of the Europa League Conference in Rotterdam (Netherlands) on Thursday, April 28, a score that could still allow Marseillais to win a sixth European final.
Arriving in the Netherlands with a run of ten wins in eleven games, OM fell from a considerable height. The last French representatives in Europe, the Marseillais probably hoped for a different result, but they were too weak defensively in a game that saw two teams playful up front and generous behind.
From the start, Feyenoord put on a lot of intensity in the aftermath of a furious pre-match, where De Kuip stadium was transformed into a gigantic open-air nightclub before being covered in smoke from dozens of torches lit by the Dutch and Marseille supporters. To trap the opponent’s defence, Jorge Sampaoli had attacked the speed of Cédric Bakambu and especially Bamba Dieng, rather than Arkadiusz Milik, who was again on the bench. The plan could have worked from the start, but Bamba Dieng, thrown deep twice, came first against Marciano (8and) then press next (14and†
Apart from these two actions, the Marseillais suffered terribly and with every breakthrough of the Feyenoord attack, such as the two Dutch goals in two minutes. on the 18andit was first Cyriel Dessers who opened the score after a decisive pass by Luis Sinisterra in a deficit (1-0), the Colombian winger, the best player of his team, and then the second goal on his own, d ‘ a shot deflected by Rongier (2-0, 20and†
The Caleta-Car dumpling
The Marseille team was then far from Tirana – where the final of this competition takes place on May 25 – and then seemed to be swept up by the fury of a stadium where David Trezeguet had offered Euro 2000 to the Blues thanks to a golden goal.
But while they seemed suffocated, Dimitri Payet and his family found some air on a nice collective action that Dieng closed with an attack from the right (2-1, 28and† The Dutch hinge and his goalkeeper left doubtfully and this impression would be confirmed ten minutes later with Marseille’s equalizing goal. Starting from Gerson, the OM movement ensured a currently irresistible recovery of the Brazilian, via Payet and Guendouzi, via a bad intervention by goalkeeper Marciano (2-2, 40and†
OM seemed out of the storm to an incredible blunder from defender Caleta-Car once the second half started. As a bad present for Steve Mandanda’s 100th European appearance with OM, the Croat sent his goalkeeper a completely missed return pass. Dessers intercepted it and gave Feyernoord the lead again (3-2, 46and† With these doubles and eleven goals in total, the Belgian-Nigerian striker dominates the league table of goalscorers.
OM struggled to recover from this absurd goal and the rest of the match was spent bringing in its share of defensive fears, due to the feverishness of OM defenders in front of their goal. There were also offensive tensions, with Dieng missing two great equalizing opportunities. At the end of the game, Marciano and Mandanda each made decisive saves, but the score didn’t move.
“At this stage of the tournament you can’t go wrong and be stifled, OM’s Argentina coach, Jorge Sampaoli, admitted. It was difficult and the frustration of not being able to play led to mistakes. It’s a learning curve for the future and the return match. †
The competition’s finalist will be determined in Marseille on Thursday – the winner will face the English from Leicester or the Italians from Roma; the two teams drew (1-1) in the first leg, in England. During this clash at the Vélodrome, the Virage Nord will remain empty, closed by UEFA after several incidents this season, but the Marseille supporters will in turn play a part.
For this, OM must receive Lyon on Sunday. The appointment is no less important. Because the Provencals want to keep their second place in the league and return to Europe next season, but by qualifying this time for the great Champions League and not just the “C4”.