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Europa League: Atalanta draws with Marseille 1-1

Europa League: Atalanta draws with Marseille 1-1

In the first leg of the Europa League semi-final, Olympique Marseille failed to convert increased chances into a home win. Mbemba found a brilliant response to Atalanta Bergamo's early lead, but then Mbemba, among other things, failed to hit the crossbar.

Olympique Marseille played with Jordan Virtue (centre) and Atalanta Bergamo a difficult match.
imago/panoramic c

Compared to everyday life in the league, Olympique Marseille and Atalanta Bergamo made a lot of changes in the Europa League and brought in their newest rested starters. While Jean-Louis Gasset brought in four new players in Mobimba, Kondogbia, Luis Henrique and Sarr compared to the 2-1 win over Lens, Gian Piero Gasperini made six changes after the 2-0 win over Empoli: goalkeeper Musso, who started former Schalke players Kolasinac, Ederson and De Ketilair, Kupminerz and Skamaka.

In a very intense match, it was the latter two who took the early lead. Kopmeinerz picked up the ball 25 meters from the goal, was not under any pressure and passed it to Skamaka, who was also completely free, and who did not waste the opportunity from the right half of the penalty area (11).

Kolasinac saves, leaves the field, and Mbemba scores

At first this was only sleepiness on the part of the French, who then found their way into the game better. Following a cross from Luis Henrique, Kolasinac just blocked Sarr's free kick and initially prevented the equalizer, but injured his thigh in the process and had to leave the field (15). Shortly afterwards, after a short corner kick, centre-back Mbemba fired the ball into the top left corner from exactly 20 meters out to make it 1-1 (20th position).

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Europa League, semi-final first leg

Both teams did not offer anything to each other, which is why the match took place mainly in the midfield. There was a really big chance for OM before half-time. At the end of a good counterattack, Harriet Aubameyang served, but he missed in front of goal by a small margin (42).

After the break, it was the hosts who found their way into the game. However, Aubameyang remained unlucky with his shots (47/53), while Mbemba (55) and second-row Kondogbia (58) also failed.

Sarr's goal is returned, and Ndiaye hits the crossbar

Gasperini reacted and brought on the former Leipzig goalkeeper for top scorer Skamaka. The Englishman re-attacked significantly and had a good opportunity after good dribbling, but his shot went over the goal (63). On the other hand, the ball fidgeted into the net after Aubameyang's header failed to get past Musso, who responded strongly but walked the ball over the goal line. However, the flag was raised correctly as Luis Henrique was offside during the match (65').

The noose was tightening more and more on Atalanta at this stage of the match. Onahi, who had just been substituted, failed to hit a shot from 20 meters over the right crossbar (73rd). Shortly afterwards, Atalanta goalkeeper Musso was very lucky when Mombanya took the ball from him 25 meters in front of his own goal, but he slipped and did not have much of a chance to make it 2-1 (74').

Atalanta is safe, Olympique Club is short of ideas

But in the final stage, the visitors settled down again, did not allow anything more and kept the French, who were losing their ideas and strength, away from their goal. There were no great attacking efforts – except for a long-range shot from Miranchuk (90') – so the score remained 1-1, which the Italians were able to live with better after the final whistle.

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While Marseille has the weekend off and can already prepare for the second leg, Atalanta will play first at the Salernitana Stadium (Monday, 6pm). Next Thursday (9pm, live! On Kick) in Bergamo, Marseille will look to overcome their away weakness – where only one of their six Europa League away matches can be won – while Atalanta will win in front of their home fans. A ticket to Dublin can be purchased.