C4: OM beaten at Feyenoord (3-2) in a semi-final first leg with twists and turns, hope allowed in the second leg

A small option for Feyenoord, some regrets for Olympique de Marseille. In the hell of Rotterdam, the men of Jorge Sampaoli first experienced a nightmare on Thursday. Quickly trailing 2 goals to 0, they found the resources to equalize before half-time, before sinking again due to a ball from Duje Caleta-Car (3-2). OM are not dead after this semi-final first leg, but this first defeat in the Europa League Conference will force the Phocaeans to sign the perfect match in a week at the Vélodrome, for a place in the final. In short, the return promises to be just as hot.

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Europa League Conference

“It’s not like us, it’s not OM”


Marseille will leave Rotterdam with a feeling that will no doubt be mixed, firstly through their fault. Unable to defend the depth well and suffocated by the aggressive pressing of the Dutch, the Marseillais did not always see the light of day in this semi-final with the unbearable atmosphere. And when Feyenoord led 2-0, there was absolutely nothing to complain about. Cyriel Dessers (1-0, 18th) and Luis Sinisterra (2-0, 20th) in quick succession rewarded the good start of the locals, much more determined than OM.

OM are doing well, despite everything

In pride, Marseille still found a way to get back into the game, while the abyss seemed to open more and more under his feet. After missing two clear chances that he could have ruminated (9th, 14th), Bamba Dieng concluded with a superb strike a good combination from his team to keep it alive (2-1, 28th). Then, Gerson was responsible for extinguishing an entire stadium, very present on a cross from Mattéo Guendouzi pushed back on him (2-2, 40th). With a draw at the break, OM were doing very, very well and could dream of a new balance of power for the last 45 minutes.

The duel Cédric Bakambu (Olympique de Marseille) and Marcos Senesi (Feyenoord) during the semi-final first leg of the Europa League Conference, April 28, 2022

Credit: Getty Images

Unfortunately, Duje Caleta-Car went through a big period of doubts in this meeting. The Croatian defender weighed down his team as soon as the second half resumed with a bad back pass for Steve Mandanda. Dessers then took advantage of this unforgivable situation at this stage of the competition to score twice, and again force Marseille to chase after the score (3-2, 46th). With its lead, the Dutch club allowed itself to go into management mode, granting itself possession phases without rushing to breathe physically.

OM had a slight start in the last quarter of an hour, but it was a priori too late to obtain a more positive result. Dieng (84′), with a sequence that deserved better, or Dimitri Payet, with a curling shot aimed at the opposite skylight (90′), had the ammunition to snatch a second equalizer. She would certainly have been well paid for the Phocaeans who are sometimes out of touch, and who will have to manage their starts at the Vélodrome much better to hope to continue their adventure in this Europa League Conference. The Dutch are hungry and they have now been warned.

Europa League Conference

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Europa League Conference

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