OM trembled, OM wavered, but OM held on. Marseille won 2 goals to 0 this Thursday on the pitch of AEK Athens, on the occasion of the 4th day of the Europa League.
In doubt in Ligue 1, the Marseillais, without the injured Valentin Rongier and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, have found color in Greece. From the kick-off, Gennaro Gattuso's players took control of the game under the leadership of Joaquin Correa, positioned on the left wing and more inspired than during his first outings. AEK played in fits and starts, Marseille tried to move quickly forward to enhance the valuable recoveries of the evening captain, Geoffrey Kondogbia.
On a nice three-way move arriving on Ndiaye, Vitinha missed the inevitable from six meters (17th) but OM were to be rewarded a few minutes later. Already a scorer against Brighton (2-2) on the 2nd day, Chancel Mbemba appeared at the far post on a corner kicked by Clauss to put his team in front (1-0, 25th). Little worried by AEK's movements, the Olympians took advantage of the spaces and proved dangerous from set pieces. Mbemba came close to a double header (33rd) but OM settled for a one-goal lead at the break. Before suffering in the second half.
Like the performances against Brighton then the same AEK (3-1) at the Vélodrome, Jonathan Clauss' teammates suffered the events upon returning from the locker room, evolving in a counter-attack thanks to the incessant calls from Vitinha. Contested since the start of the season, Pau Lopez then warmed up the gloves to keep the Phocaeans afloat. The Spaniard intervened in front of Garcia (52nd) then Gacinovic (55th), before Vitinha missed the break on the other side, the fault of a save by Athanasiadis (62nd) then on the outgoing downwind (80th).
Lacking inspiration in the game but united and aggressive in the duels, OM retreated to their camp in the final minutes. There was fire until the end in front of the Olympian goal, Lopez making two new saves in front of Zuber (89th, 96th). Finally, as rarely since August, Gattuso's team did not give in, even scoring the 2-0 goal by Sarr on a royal serve from Veretout (2-0, 96th).
Thanks to this very valuable success, Marseille regains first place in Group B with one point ahead of Brighton and four points ahead of their Greek opponent in the evening. In three weeks at the Vélodrome stadium, we will have to validate the qualification against Ajax Amsterdam, last in the group.