It only took once for the game to turn. On Tottenham's first successful high-speed offensive movement, after more than 45 very poor minutes on the English side, Son Heung-min was launched deep and Mbemba, impeccable since his arrival in Marseille, mowed down the South Korean and was forced out.
The second period had just started (46th) and, inevitably, the rest was long and difficult for OM, who nevertheless resisted until the start of the last quarter of an hour. Two headers from Richarlison (76th and 81st) then got the better of Marseille's resistance.
Logically beaten by the favorite of group D, OM still leave London with their heads held high and with a lot of reasons to believe in a possible qualification before rubbing shoulders with Frankfurt and Sporting Portugal, two teams that play a a priori in the same court as them, unlike the Spurs.
When the Marseillais came out of the tunnel and moved towards the center of the field, the immensity of the Tottenham Stadium also came to remind us of the difference with their European course last season and we were then very far from Salonika, Basel or Baku.
Wednesday was the Champions League and throughout the first period, which he really mastered, OM looked him in the eye. Far from the C4, the Marseillais were also far from their 2020-2021 predecessors, devoured by a competition too big for them (five defeats in six games).
- Guendouzi shouted down -
In London, as long as they were at 11, Igor Tudor's side never gave up playing high or pressing, even if the threats could seem frightening: Son's liveliness, Richarlison's physique, off-road quality from Kane.
Until the break, it was the Marseillais who controlled the match, even if, inevitably, in the absence of Alexis Sanchez (suspended) and Dimitri Payet (substitute), he lacked a little creativity and quality at the outposts.
Under these conditions, OM were not extraordinarily dangerous, with a strike next to Tavares (20th) and another from Guendouzi (45 1), repelled by Lloris, who throughout the match did not appear very serene. But before Mbemba's expulsion, Tottenham had been even less so with the only thrill of an off-target cross shot from Kane (41st).
At that time, the English supporters were not showing off and you could only hear the Marseille yardage singing, except when Guendouzi was booed for his past as "Gunner".
But at 10 against 11 then, Marseille logically suffered. The lines fell 30 meters, the English crosses multiplied and OM clung to their point.
Tudor gave his team some breathing space with his changes, his players squandered every possible second on every throw-in and every free kick, but they ended up giving way under the battering and against Richarlison.
In the very last seconds, a Harit-Under move could have given OM a deserved goal. He did not come and with this defeat, the 14th in his last 15 C1 games, OM's liabilities in the competition are increasing. But on what they showed in London, the Marseillais can really hope to improve the balance sheet.