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Europa League: Marseille must take the bull by the horns

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – Odd ANDERSEN – | French coach Rudi Garcia of Marseille in the quarter-final first leg of the Europa League in Leipzig on 5 April 2018

Marseille in a dream: beaten 1-0 in Germany by RB Leipzig in the first leg, Rudi Garcia’s team can turn things around at home on Thursday (9:05 pm) and hope to be invited to the semi-finals of the Europa League, where she could find Atletico Madrid or Arsenal.

Haut les cores … The Marseille organizations are tired of the dull schedule imposed on them (52nd match Thursday, European record this season), and the first leg was played without four Olympian executives, injured: goalkeeper Steve Mandanda defenders Adil Rami and Rolando, winger Florian Thauvin. However, Marseille shoved the 6th Bundesliga home.

At home, and with the return of the detonator Thauvin, the feat seems possible. And the Marseille public has come back to offer Timo Werner and his teammates a welcome worthy of the Vélodrome reputation: the fearsome German striker had asked to be replaced in the Champions League in September, bothered by the roar of supporters Besiktas. This gave Marseilles ideas, which are expected in numbers at the Vélodrome to the point of threatening current attendance records.

A qualification for the semi-finals of the small European Cup would certainly add two matches to the Olympian calendar, April 26 and May 3. But it would also forget the stinging defeat at home against the great rival of Lyon, which has also helped to drop Marseille from the podium this weekend, six days from the end of the championship.

Arsenal, winner in the first leg of CSKA Moscow 4-1, is on his side widely favored for a qualification in the semifinals, whose draw will be made Friday at midday. Atletico Madrid also took a good option on the last four by winning at home 2-0 against Sporting Portugal.

The last semi-finalist will be either Salzburg, who scored two goals in Italy, or Lazio Rome who won the first leg 4-2. The final will take place on May 16th in Lyon.

UEFA Europa League quarter-final quarter-final program (with a one-leg score in parentheses) played on Thursday at 9:05 pm

Ⓒ AFP – Vincent LEFAI – | Europa League: quarterfinals back

Marseille (FRA) – RB Leipzig (GER) (0-1)

CSKA Moscow (RUS) – Arsenal (ENG) (1-4)

Sporting Portugal (POR) – Atletico Madrid (ESP) (0-2)

Salzburg (AUT) – Lazio Rome (ITA) (2-4)

Semi-final draw: Friday

Semi-finals: April 26 (one-way) and May 3 (return)

Final: May 16th in Lyon

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