Eintracht opponents Olympique Marseille with problems before CL

Eintracht opponents Olympique Marseille with problems before CL

André Villas-Boas just wanted to get away. “I don’t want anything from Olympique Marseille, I don’t want any money.” The Portuguese coach could hardly have been clearer when he hastily submitted his resignation to the southern French club in early February 2021. This followed public feuds with current president Pablo Longoria over the club’s transfer policy and riots outside La Commanderie training ground: 300 angry supporters unequivocally demanded access and left distraught players when they left. The game against Rennes on the same day was canceled.

The supporters of the club from Zinedine Zidane’s hometown seem to care a lot about their reputation as enfants terribles, at least they cultivate it devotedly. Anyone who lost interest in football during the corona pandemic and consequently missed the return of fans to the stadiums in spring 2021 could believe in the last Champions League home game against Sporting Lisbon at the beginning of October of this year that the pandemic was still forcing before ghost games. But it was parts of the blue and white supporters themselves who had begged for their expulsion from UEFA when they put the Eintracht block under constant pyrotechnic fire in the first leg four weeks ago.

Last Saturday against the surprise team from Lens, parts of the south stand in the home Stade Vélodrome remained closed after OM fans had enveloped the stadium in smoke during the game against Ajaccio.

Three losses in a row

Marseille and Frankfurt, who meet in the Champions League this Wednesday (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and on DAZN), are in the same region these days: the French are fifth in their domestic league, Eintracht fourth place. But the form curve could hardly be more different: While Frankfurt have scored twelve out of a possible 15 points since the first leg in Marseille, Olympique is in a serious crisis after three defeats in a row. Defeats that could hardly be more bitter in a triad. A win was firmly planned against penultimate AC Ajaccio (1-2) before OM defender Balerdi involuntarily supported the opponents from the Corsican capital with his own goal.


Most famous professional at OM: the Chilean striker Alexis Sánchez
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Image: AFP

A week later they were close to a draw against the champions from Paris (0-1) in the French “Classique” when Samuel Gigot received a debatable red card for his challenge against Neymar. And most recently, Marseille lost 1-0 to table neighbors RC Lens due to clumsiness on the offensive and a deflected long-range shot in the final quarter of an hour. Defender Jonathan Clauss was annoyed: “If a team should win tonight, it’s us.”

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