Beaten in the first leg (3-2) and powerless in the return (0-0), this Thursday at the Vélodrome against Feyenoord Rotterdam, the Olympians were eliminated in the semi-finals.
That’s it, it’s over… Reversed in the Europa League Conference after finishing third in their group in the Europa League, OM sees their European journey come to an end at the gates of the final. Beaten 3-2 in the first leg to Rotterdam last week, Jorge Sampaoli’s players, powerless Thursday at the Vélodrome (0-0), especially after Dimitri Payet’s injury, are eliminated. It is Feyenoord who will challenge AS Roma on May 25, in Tirana (Albania), in the final. So near, so far.
OM have never been able to find the solutions
Unlike the first leg, it was the Marseillais who attacked hard and took control of the operations from the start this time. Combative, courageous Olympians, determined to move forward, but who still had difficulty finding solutions on the offensive level. There was indeed this clever setback ball from Harit for Payet (10th) and above all this delicious curling shot from the left of the same Payet (20th), after a smoothly led counter. Delicious strike which came to lick the bar… A dramatic turn at the half-hour mark, with the ex-Stéphanois who remained on the ground. The ax was not long in falling: his match was over, that of Milik had just started (33rd). Which Milik immediately stood out, with a flabby helmet (33rd). But the exit of Payet had put a real blow of bamboo on the heads of Marseille, on the ground and in the stands. The game was clearly rebalanced and the Dutch put their noses out the window (39th, 44th) before a new header signed Milik, without danger, just before the break (0-0 MT).
SEE ALSO – The superb atmosphere of Marseille supporters in Rotterdam
Despite a thrill at the start (46th), OM were obviously not resigned and started to push again. There was nevertheless too much clumsiness and waste in the last gesture to hope to make a difference, there a missed control from Dieng who went alone against (52nd), here a chick strike signed Rongier from the left (55th) or a dribble wacky Harit at the entrance to the surface (61st). The experienced Milik was not left out with this too long control from the outside of the left, in the area (64th). So many wasted cartridges for a helpless OM who trembled on this shot from Trauner just above (65th). Frustration mingled with tension and tempers were heating up a bit (70th, 76th). It was especially hot in front of the Rotterdam goal, with this counter shot from Lirola (76th). OM pushed again and again, still clumsily. No miracle from entrants. We left it there (0-0). Frustrating.
Payet, on an air of deja vu
The turning point of this meeting came in the 33rd minute of play, with the release of the essential Dimitri Payet. There was an OM with, and an OM without him. Aligned in front of Thursday, the man with 16 goals and 13 assists in all competitions this season (46 matches) suffered from a muscle glitch and too quickly left his team orphaned, a bit like in the 2018 Europa League final, against Atlético Madrid (0-3). Bad luck. With him, perhaps this more than clumsy OM would have found enough accuracy to win. There was room. Boys like Amine Harit or the incoming Cendiz Under were unable to take over from the Marseille playing master.
The fear of emptiness
OM will now have to focus on winning second place in Ligue 1, and the ticket to the Champions League that goes with it. Lorient, Rennes and Strasbourg are on the menu for the Phocaeans, who are three points ahead of Rennes (3rd) and Monaco (4th), five over Nice (5th). After seeing their dreams of a title in C4 fly away, it would have been the club’s first trophy since 2012, Olympique de Marseille, which remains on three matches without a win in all competitions, does not have that much margin. .
Fire atmosphere at the Vélodrome, incidents outside
Certainly deprived of its North Bend and its 13,000 supporters, closed after the incidents noted in the previous round, against PAOK Salonika, the Vélodrome put on its clothes of light on Thursday evening. The stadium fully played its role as the 12th man. A real volcano. Small European Cup? Perhaps, but the atmosphere of great evenings. We imagine that UEFA will only moderately appreciate the tifo deployed on the South side (“UEFA MAFIA”) and the cloud of smoke that went with it. In the meantime, the “Vél” has lived up to its reputation. A real pressure cooker. Chills guaranteed… However, it was the 3,000 Dutch fans who had the last word and who celebrated the qualification of their protégés… Unfortunately, the party was marred by clashes between supporters, from Wednesday at the Old Port and again Thursday, before the game. Even after the game, the tension was still high around the stadium. Sad, very sad.