Benfica-OM, a quarter before… Liverpool?


By: Manu Tournoux

The draw for the quarter-finals of the Europa League notably resulted in a duel between Benfica and Marseille. The winner could face Liverpool in the semi-finals.

Chance has once again decided. While this Friday took place the draw for the quarter-finals of the Europa League, Olympique de Marseille wondered who their opponent would be for their next round of C3. It was ultimately Benfica which was awarded to him, with a first leg to be played in Lisbon, before a return which should be fiery, towards the Vélodrome. The winner of this double confrontation could then face Liverpool.

Some of the biggest pieces were therefore avoided by Jean-Louis Gasset’s men. Reversed from the Champions League, AC Milan will play against AS Roma, while Bayer Leverkusen, who are at the top of the Bundesliga, will face West Ham. As for the favorite of the competition, Liverpool, they will try to beat Atalanta Bergamo. So for OM, playing against Benfica which is not at its best this season, looks like a stroke of luck in the draw.

A remarkable semi-final

And a way to send a nod to the history of the Marseille club and one of its legends, Enzo Francescoli. The Uruguayan striker, idol of Zinedine Zidane, shone during the C1 semi-final played by OM against Benfica (2-1), during the 1989-1990 campaign. An exceptional meeting of intensity and spectacle, but a victory spoiled by the elimination of the Marseillais following the goal scored with the hand by Vata on the Lisbon side on the return.

Twenty-four years later, it may be time for revenge for the Marseillais. And if they manage to reach the last four of the Europa League, they could well be entitled to a luxury opponent, since they would face the winner of Liverpool-Atalanta. But this is another story.

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