OM goes through a very small door!


By: Manu Tournoux

Beaten and manhandled by Villarreal (1-3), Olympique de Marseille suffered to validate their qualification for the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

If the term has long been an object of mockery to illustrate the rivalry with the Parisian enemy, the idea of ​​a comeback certainly crossed the minds of the supporters of Olympique de Marseille this Thursday. As Paris Saint-Germain defeated Barça in 2017, the Marseille club also defeated Villarreal, another Spanish club, by the same score (4-0), in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Europa League final.

Jean-Louis Gasset’s team therefore had to finish the work to validate their ticket this Thursday evening. She succeeded in her mission by completely missing her match, which says everything about the paradox of these great European battles. The OM coach notably did without his top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at kick-off. The other strong choice concerned tactical animation, with a return to 3-5-2 to take a more conservative approach.

OM were very scared

This strategy did not bear fruit. Completely amorphous, Pau Lopez and his teammates did not put in the necessary ingredients to avoid a stressful scenario. Opposite, Villarreal aimed to break the Marseille barrier quickly to wrap up the match and draw the beginnings of an irrational reversal of the situation. However, we had to wait until the half-hour mark and the opening score of Frenchman Capoue (1-0, 32nd).

But as OM never got into their match, the specter of a nightmare began to loom large in everyone’s minds. Launched at half-time, Aubameyang could have killed the suspense earlier if he had not missed a huge opportunity. Villarreal took the opportunity to give it a shot. Sorloth doubled the lead (2-0, 57th), before a suffocating last half hour where the Marseillais came close to the worst after Mosquera’s third goal (3-0, 86th). But OM finally got their heads above water thanks to their managers, Clauss definitively sealing the qualification of his team after a service from the inevitable Aubameyang (3-1, 90th + 4). It was very hot. OM of the Gasset era had not yet lost. We will remember his first setback.

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