Gignac Opener Gives OM Advantage Ahead Of 2nd Leg
2/8/12 – 19:45 (UK)
Stade Ataturk, Eskisehir, Turkey
Marseille: Mandanda – Fanni, Nkoulou, Mbia, Morel – Kabore, Cheyrou – Amalfitano, Valbuena, A. Ayew – Gignac
Subs: J. Ayew ’72, Raspentino ‘86
Goals: Gignac ‘49
Marseille began their 2012/13 campaign in the Europa League 3rd Qualifying round against Turkish Super League team Eskisehirspor.
In a rather feisty encounter, as might have been expected, the Turks made the brighter start, and tested Mandanda a number of times within the first 10 minutes. They even managed to have the ball in the back of the net, although the referee’s assistant ruled this off for offside.
Once the game settled, OM managed to dictate the pace more, controlling the possession and started creating chances for themselves. Gignac and Kabore with the pick of the bunch.
Marseille reached half-time without scoring, but more importantly without conceding. Within 4 minutes of the restart, Gignac had netted for OM. After a great through ball by Amalfitano, he managed to control the ball, beat Cetin and then the ‘keeper from a tight angle. A great goal, which was well deserved after Gignac’s tireless performance.
From then on OM managed few clear-cut chances. Eskisehirspor managed a goal through Nuhiu. A set-piece from the left, delivered by Dede, managed to elude the OM defence, particularly Mbia, and Nuhiu scored with a glancing header that left Mandanda with little chance of saving.
For the rest of the game Marseille were dragged into a game of giving away silly fouls with their Turkish counterparts, many of which were given away in dangerous areas around Mandanda’s box. Thankfully Eskisehirspor were rather wasteful and rarely threatened the OM goal in the final 30 minutes.
A draw, with an away goal is not a poor result, providing Marseille can be more clinical in front of goal next week. Marseille’s experience and skill should see this round off, but stranger things have happened.
Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)
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