The European evening of French clubs could have been perfect but the English Liverpool decided otherwise by punishing Toulouse (5-1), Thursday October 26, during the 3e day of the Europa League.
A little earlier, Marseille had won their first C3 success of the season against AEK Athens (3-1), and Rennes had won at Panathinaikos (2-1). In the Europa Conference League, Lille took first place in their group by beating Slovan Bratislava (2-1).
- Marseille takes first place in its group
After two draws, Olympique de Marseille finally won in their Europa League group by beating AEK Athens 3-1. Against the Greeks, the Olympians first opened the scoring with Vitinha (27e) before being joined at the start of the second period (53e).
But the turning point in the match came shortly before the hour mark when AEK goalkeeper Cican Stankovic took down Vitinha, conceding a penalty before receiving a red card. Amine Harit allowed the Phocéens to go ahead, before Veretout widened the gap, once again from a penalty, in a burning Vélodrome stadium.
“As for the atmosphere, even if people say that I act like a saint, I tell myself that in the world in which we live, it would be nice to often see again what we saw this evening, appreciated the Italian coach of OM, Gennaro Gattuso. When you play in a stadium like that, it pushes you. It’s added value for us and I always remind my players of it. »
In this group B, the poster of the day saw Brighton dominate Ajax Amsterdam 2-0, leaving OM in first place with five points, ahead of Brighton and Athens (4 pts), while the Dutch occupy the last place (2 pts). The Marseillais are back in the race for qualification for the rest of the C3, having been eliminated in the preliminary round of the Champions League by Panathinaikos.
- Rennes’ good move in Greece
Against these same Greeks, Rennes did better, winning in Athens 2-1, in a packed Apostolos Nikolaïdis stadium. On a pitch in poor condition, both teams hit the ground running and Bruno Genesio’s men were the first to make the difference. On a good cross from midfielder Enzo Le Fée, Amine Gouiri was able to be opportunistic to get the ball back at the far post and open the score (7e).
The “Pana”, who defeated OM in the preliminary round of the Champions League before being eliminated in the play-offs, pushed to come back but failed to take advantage of the defensive generosity of the Bretons who took cover upon returning from the locker room thanks to superb inspiration from Arnaud Kalimuendo. On a free kick from Rieder, the international hopeful found the net with a subtle backheel (49e).
Greek center forward Fotis Ioannidis reduced the gap from the penalty spot after a foul by ignon on Palacios (60e). The Rennes then held on and stole first place in Group F from the Greeks, while the other meeting in this group, between Villarreal and Maccabi Haifa, initially scheduled for Thursday in Israel, was postponed to December 6.
- Toulouse in the red at Liverpool
TFC was no match for Liverpool (5-1), making too many errors to worry Jürgen Klopp’s players in their Anfield garden. In front of 2,400 of its supporters, the largest Toulouse contingent during a European trip, the Toulouse residents were very quickly led against a team that had nevertheless been largely reshuffled, after a solitary raid by Diogo Jota in a defense that was too pive (9e).
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But launched on the edge of offside, Thijs Dallinga equalized on his first opportunity (16e), rewarding his team’s very enterprising start to the match. Faced with the fourth in the Premier League, beaten only once since the start of the season (9 wins and 2 draws) and winner of their six home matches until then, TFC continued to be level for half an hour . What followed was much more complicated for the Violets.
First surprised by a header from the Japanese international Endo, following a corner (30e), Carles Martinez Novell’s men definitively ed four minutes later after a violent strike inside six meters from Uruguayan international Darwin Nunez (34e). Liverpool finally added to the tally with Gravenberch (65e) then closed his recital with his local hero, the Egyptian Mohamed Salah (90+3), who came on in the second half.
Halfway through, and as expected after the draw for this group, Liverpool are logically alone in the lead after this third victory in as many matches. Beaten for the first time on the European scene, Toulouse lost its second place at the expense of the Belgians from Union Saint-Gilloise who won in stoppage time at home to the Austrians from Linz (2-1). Both teams have the same number of points (4) but the Belgians have a better goal difference than TFC.
In Thursday’s other European competition, the Europa Conference League, Lille came through despite a mediocre performance during an hour of play against Slovan Bratislava (2-1).
“In the first half, we didn’t have the right attitude to win this matchcastigated Paulo Fonseca, the Portuguese coach of Lille. I try to understand. It was an important match, against a team which is also playing for first place. I asked the players: why? »
The Slovaks, already dangerous on several occasions, opened the scoring in the 23rde minute thanks to a nice three-way movement deployed on the Lille right side, concluded by Aleksandar Cavric, who beat Samuel Umtiti, world champion with the Blues in 2018., and arrived this summer in the North.
The first quarter of an hour of the second act was played at the same pace. Paulo Fonseca then decided to make a triple change (66e). Paid choice. But above all we had to wait for the first error from the hitherto very compact Slovak block: defender Guram Kashia completely missed his restart, which arrived at the feet of Yazici. A well-executed one-two with Rémy Cabella later, and LOSC managed to equalize through their Turkish striker (68e). Dangerous from the moment he entered the game, winger Edon Zhegrova managed a dazzling overflow before sending a cross shot taken by Rémy Cabella which definitively turned the match around (82e).
Thanks to this victory, Lille pes its evening opponent and takes the lead in group A (7 points) ahead of the Slovak club (6 pts). Next comes KI Klaksvik (4 pts), which largely beat Olimpija Ljubljana (0 pts) 3 to 0 at the same time.
The World with AFP