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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

It’s Marseille vs Atletico Madrid: Europa League final

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Portuguese defender Rolando side-footed the decisive goal in the 116th minute from Dimitri Payet’s corner. Marseille snatched a dramatic extra-time winner to reach the final of the Europa League after surrendering their two-goal first-leg advantage against Red Bull Salzburg.

Amadou Haidara’s poked effort and a Bouna Sarr own goal had ensured the hosts took the tie into extra time. Marseille will meet Atletico Madrid in the final in Lyon on 16 May.


After a relatively untroubled first period, it appeared as though the visitors, Uefa Cup runners-up in 1998-99 and 2003-04, could begin their preparations for facing Diego Simeone’s team in the modern version of that competition.

But when Valere Germain wasted an excellent chance it seemed to galvanise a Salzburg side renowned for being formidable opponents on their own patch. The Austrians, who are closing in on a fifth successive domestic league title, have now gone 39 games without losing at home – a record that dates back to November 2016.

And they rallied when Mali midfielder Haidara, later sent off in the closing stages for a second yellow card, slalomed between three Marseille players to score. And once the home side drew level when Sarr diverted Xaver Schlager’s effort, Marco Rose’s team looked to have taken charge.

Salzburg, who also beat Marseille 1-0 at home in the group stage, had chances to move in front in the tie notably via Croatia defender Duje Caleta-Car and substitute Hwang Hee-chan. Rudi Garcia’s visitors enjoyed some good fortune with their winner, which came from a corner wrongly awarded after Andre-Frank Zambo’s effort had deflected behind off a Marseille team-mate.

It allowed Rolando to become an unlikely hero – and Marseille will make the short trip from their Stade Velodrome home to take on Atletico after the Spaniards beat Arsenal in the other semi-final.

Source: BBC News

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