OM's Garcia: 'We deserved to qualify'

UEFA Europa League

Marseille coach Rudi Garcia wasn't turning his nose up at second place after a 0-0 draw with RB Salzburg qualified his side for the Round of 32; OL's Bruno Genesio and Nice's Lucien Favre had contrasting feelings about away defeats.

UEFA Europa League, Matchday 6

Thursday, 7 December, 2017

Group I

 Olympique de Marseille 0-0 RB Salzburg  

Rudi Garcia (Olympique de Marseille coach): "We played a serious, solid match against a side who could cut loose and attack at will and also press hard. I think they deserved to top the group. And we deserved to qualify. Second place might earn you an away game for the second leg of the round of 32, and certainly against a big team, but you can't say the chances of qualifying are that much greater if you top the group than if you finish second. That's my opinion. In home-and-away ties, anything can happen. Our only objective in the group stage was to make it to the knockout rounds."

Marco Rose (RB Salzburg coach): "Everything is relative when you're talking about whether it was a good match or not. I think it was an intense match, perhaps not the greatest of all time, but there was a lot of rhythm and engagement. I had said that OM would have to battle hard to qualify and that was the case tonight. OM created one or two more chances than we did, but our 'keeper was excellent. The draw is the right result and I'm satisfied with my team's performance tonight."

Group E

 Atalanta 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais 

Gian Piero Gasperini (Atalanta coach): "It was a performance of great focus and concentration, as we were determined to get this result. We were daring when it was right to dare, and once we took the lead, we locked it down. In a few situations, we could've done better on the counter. We had the feeling we could fight it out with Lyon and that is a great sign of how far we have come and how much we believe in our abilities. We grew up fast in this competition, as it's not easy to beat Lyon. It has been a marvellous experience for everyone. The draw will be unpredictable on Monday, but we cared about finishing first because we'll have the second leg at home.

Bruno Genesio (Olympique Lyonnais coach): "It was a pretty tight match with very few chances. We had an insipid first half and we were dominated athletically. We didn't make enough attacking runs to pose them any problems. We troubled them more in the second half but didn't really create more chances, save for Nabil Fekir's hitting the post towards the end. We knew we were in one of the toughest groups. We're competitors and so we're necessarily disappointed to have lost despite qualifying for the next round. But we have achieved our objective, and Monday's draw will indicate whether we should have done better and topped the group. We'll see what fate has in store for us."

Group K

 Vitesse Arnhem 1-0 OGC Nice 

Henk Fraser (Vitesse Arnhem coach): "I'm disappointed that the European campaign is over, but somehow I'm glad that it's done. So far we have had the excuse that the European competitions cost us points in the Eredivisie. Now there are no more excuses. We must definitely take the next three matches and then show after the winter that things can be done differently. The matches in the Europa League were a learning experience. The quality of the opponents, the level and the number of opportunities that teams need. We often talk about effectiveness. The players will now have to apply that."

Lucien Favre (OGC Nice coach): "We could have drawn this match or even won it. There was at least one penalty for us that wasn't given, quite clearly, and maybe even a second. But they weren't given. We turned in a solid performance with a lot of youngsters in the side. We also had chances in open play, but we didn't put them away. I don't want to single anyone out, but there were some nice surprises. Overall, it was pretty positive. We knew some of the lads had a lot of promise, but others who impressed hadn't played much at all before tonight."


>> MATCH REPORTS: Marseile complete French trio in Europa League

Your email has been successfully sent