Europa League: Marseille edge past Salzburg in France

Ruben Hill
April 30, 2018

Dimitri Payet set up both goals for Marseille at a packed Velodrome, as more than 62,000 fans saw Thauvin grab an opener that had more than a suspicion of handball about it.

Dimitri Payet claims Marseille should still be considered underdogs in their Europa League semi-final against Red Bull Salzburg, despite a 2-0 home win in the first leg.

Clinton Njie, the former Tottenham forward, put the Ligue 1 side in a commanding position heading into next week's second leg in Austria when he scored their second goal three minutes after coming off the bench. We were solid. We played an intelligent match; we knew we were up against a good side and that we had to score at least one goal, maybe two if possible, and above all not concede any. We've seen Real Madrids and Barcelonas get caught out despite getting 3-0 or 4-1 first-leg wins.

The youngster found the net in the 63rd minute, as Rudi Garcia's side took a step closer to reaching the final of the Europa League the season.

They are aiming to win a second European trophy, a quarter of a century after their triumph in the inaugural Champions League final in 1993. On the other fixture of the semifinal 10-man Atletico Madrid held Arsenal to a 1-1 draw at the Emirate Stadium, the next leg awaits the end of the fixture on Thursday at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Payet sent an early free-kick off target but Marseille took the lead in the 15th minute, although the goal was a controversial one.

"We are sad. We think we deserved better".

Marco Rose (FC Red Bull Salzburg coach): "It's tough for us".

Substitute Njie released Payet down the left and then controlled the return ball in the box before firing home, sparking jubilant scenes in the vast home crowd.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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