“It’s not enough for the Champions League”: beaten by Frankfurt (0-1), OM see the damage and their shortcomings

Brilliant in Ligue 1 but failing on the continental scene, OM are disillusioned. The public at the Stade Vélodrome was ready to experience a great European evening, they left frustrated and disappointed after the defeat (0-1) of their proteges against Eintracht Frankfurt, which is nevertheless having a very sluggish start to the season in the Bundesliga. After that against Tottenham (2-0), that makes two losses in as many days in Group D for the Olympians who are already seeing qualification slip away before challenging Sporting twice, victorious in their first two meetings.

“We entered the game too slowly, as if we were impressed by this Champions League game at home, regretted the Marseille coach Igor Tudor in a post-match press conference. We were too slow in the construction and we didn’t make the difference up front. Game-wise, it’s not our best game.” For the first time this season, the Croatian technician had decided to trust the Gerson-Payet duo to supply Alexis Sanchez, but this choice turned out to be completely flawed. He resolved to change these three players at once just before the hour mark when Eintracht was leading after Jesper Lindström’s goal (43rd).

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It’s not human to play at such a pace

“In the second half, we pushed and we deserved a goal, advance Tudor whose team ended up wrapping up the debates but also copiously exposed to opposing counterattacks. He didn’t arrive and in the end, we lose against a strong team. They didn’t dominate that much, the first period was rather balanced, even if it’s true that we didn’t create a lot up front. We come from the 4th hat and we try to do the best we can”. Frankfurt did indeed win the Europa League last season and did their best to defend well in their own half while playing their attacking shots smartly but didn’t shine either.

Guendouzi, Sanchez, system: how Tudor got it wrong

Tudor posits another reason for this disappointment: the lack of freshness. “It was the third match in six days, there is obvious fatigue and a lot of injuries, assures the former coach of Hellas Verona who saw Eric Bailly get injured but does not discover his team’s schedule or the requirements of the Champions League. It’s not human to play at such a pace. We end up with only one defender and players who miss passes that they usually don’t miss. No, the system is not in question. The players chain the matches, they are tired. Some arrived late and did not prepare. Others are injured.”

If he allows the Marseille club to make the best start to the season in its history in L1, the Croatian lost his first C1 match at home with OM as did his predecessors Didier Deschamps, Elie Baup, José Anigo and Andre Villas-Boas. Above all, the Olympians have terrible statistics with 16 defeats in their last 17 Champions League matches. In addition to the pressure of the supporters or a delicate physical form, they necessarily present tactical and technical shortcomings that the encouraging first period against Tottenham cannot hide and the expulsion of Chancel Mbmemba in front of the Spurs was certainly more due to naivety than to bad luck.

“It’s a disappointment, but you can’t always be disappointed, lucidly recognized Jordan Veretout at the Canal + microphone on leaving the field. We showed a good face but the first period was not enough. In the second half, we tried to push to get back to the score but he missed this last gesture, this goal to be rewarded”. The statistics of the match are implacable: despite 60% possession of the ball, OM hit on goal and on target almost half as much as their opponent (8 shots for 4 on target against 14 and 7 on target for Eintracht) and did not didn’t get a single corner.

“It’s not enough in the Champions League, continues the midfielder who arrived from AS Roma this summer. They put us in difficulty, the opponents are watching us on video, we tried to get them high up but they found spaces behind our backs. I think we’re not far, but it’s not enough, you have to score goals to exist in the Champions League”. For the moment, OM are not scoring and therefore do not exist. He will quickly have to do both to avoid getting angry with the most prestigious of European competitions.

The disappointment of Luis Suarez (Marseille) against Eintracht Frankfurt

Credit: Getty Images

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