Marseille undone by lone Werner shot
Olympique de Marseilles dominated their UEFA Euopa League quarter-final first leg against RB Leipzig but lost 1-0 with Timo Werner grabbing the only goal of the game against the run of play (45+1').
Thursday, April 5, 2018
UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, first leg
RB Leipzig 1 - 0 Olympique de Marseille
Marseille travelled to Leipzig without Florian Thauvin - responsible for 18 goals and 13 assists in all competitions this season - as well as first-choice goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, ruled out for the season after injuring his thigh in the 3-1 win over Dijon FCO on Saturday. Rudi Garcia's men nonetheless started well at the Red Bull Arena, and Kostas Mitroglou was unlucky to see an early shot punched away by Peter Gulacsi after a pass from Dimitri Payet (9'). At the other end, Naby Keita had a chance to give the home side the lead, but his close-range effort was blocked by Luiz Gustavo (23').
OM could have had penalty after Emil Forsberg looked to have handled in the Leipzig box following Jordan Amavi's cross from the left, but Spanish referee Alberto Undiano waved play on (25'). OM continued to pour on the pressure and Bouna Sarr came close when his shot into the ground beat Gulacsi, but the Hungarian 'keeper was saved by his crossbar (42'). It was against the run of play, then, when Leipzig made it 1-0, Forsberg winning back possession on the edge of his own box before feeding Werner, who fired through the legs of Mandanda's depute, Yohann Pelé (45+1').
OM kept out
Lucas Ocampos had a pair of chances to reduce the arrears minute into the second half. First, he picked up on Ibrahima Konaté's poor clearance only to see the former FC Sochaux-Montbéliard youngster deflect his resulting attempt wide (53'); Then, when the corner was swung in by Payet, Ocampos got the break of the ball in the area, and what looked sure to be the equaliser was touched past the post by Gulacsi (53'). Ocampos skipped past Konrad Laimer soon after before teeing up Payet, but the OM captain fired over (57').
Forsberg and Werner then combined for another counter-attack midway through the second half in a manner that looked eerily similar to the opening goal, but Gustavo raced back in a fashion that belayed his 30 years to quell the Germany striker before he had chance to get his shot off (76'). Ocampos kept trying to get his side back on level terms but was thwarted by Konaté and his fellow teenaged Frenchman Dayot Upamecano (88') and it ended 1-0 at the Red Bull Arena.
THE PLAYER: Luiz Gustavo
With Adil Rami joining Thauvin and Mandanda on the sidelines, Gustavo was asked to deputise at centre-back by his coach, Rudi Garcia. He may have been on the losing side, but the Brazilian looked as if he had played most of his 11-year career in the position, completing 85 percent of his passes, breaking up Leipzig's attacks with impressive ease - but for the goal - and starting many of Marseille's moves from deep.
THE STAT: 16
Marseille had 16 shots on goal to Leipzig's ten. The result didn't go their way, but with only a 1-0 aggregate disadvantage to account for, Les Olympiens can be quietly confident of getting revenge in the second leg at their Orange Vélodrome next Thursday.