Marseille’s hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout rounds definitively evaporated as they fell to a 2-0 home defeat to Porto on Matchday 4. Their attentions now turn to battling Olympiacos for third and a place in the Europa League.
With zero points – and zero goals – after four matches, Marseille are having a nightmarish run in the Champions League, but they did have chances to turn things around early on in the 2-0 defeat at home to Porto on Wednesday that saw both sides end the match with ten men.
Valère Germain’s header from a Florian Thauvin free-kick after 15 minutes drew a fine save from Agustin Marchesin, and although OM continued to press hard and look for the openings, they were caught out by Zaidu Sanusi’s two-bite finish despite a strong initial see from Steve Mandanda.
Things looked up for OM when Marko Grujic received his marching orders for a second yellow (67′), but only briefly. Three minutes later, Argentinian defender Leonardo Balerdi saw red for bringing Moussa Marega down in the area and Serio Oliveira converted the ensuing spot-kick to seal the 2-0 scoreline (72′).
AVB: ‘I don’t care about the run of defeats’
Although substitute Dario Benedetto carved out three strong chances, notably crashing a header off the post, OM couldn’t find that first goal of the campaign and fell to a fourth defeat.
“We were unlucky with the first goal, but we were doing well until then. When you’re on a negative dynamic, as we are at the moment, things like that happen. We made some changes in order to get back into the match, and Dimitri [Payet] and Dario [Benedetto] did well when they came on,” said Villas-Boas, whose side now hold the record for consecutive Champions League defeats, with 13. “It’s a campaign to forget. Now we have to go out and get that win. I don’t care about the run of defeats. What’s the point of talking about it?”
Marseille now have two matches left, against Olympiacos and then at home to Manchester City, to get the results to beat the Greek side – who are three points ahead – to third place and the Europa League knock-out round spot that goes with it. In the meantime, AVB’s men play host to Nantes in Ligue 1 Uber Eats Round 12 action on Saturday night.