de Lyonnais kept under control in West Ham, Marseille takes the best of PAOK Salonika

Regret for any Olympian. On the West Ham lawn, Olympique Lyonnais failed to beat an opponent who was nevertheless reduced to ten (1-1), while Olympique de Marseille, who played at home, defeated PAOK Saloniki (2-1) on Thursday 7 April .

  • Lyon lacks inspiration
The Lyonnais faced Kurt Zouma and West Ham in London on 7 April 2022 in their first leg of the Europa League quarter-final.

In a long undecided encounter, Lyonnais lacked solutions to win on the West Ham lawn in the quarter-finals of the Europa League first leg. With 71% possession and twenty-three shots (against five for the Hammers), Les Gones could have hoped for much better from their trip to the suburbs of London. But faced with a well-grouped block, the OL attackers often lacked support and skill at the finish.

Also read: Relive West Ham-Lyon: 11 to 10 in the second period, OL happy with a draw

Standing in numerical superiority just before halftime after Aaron Cresswell’s expulsion, Peter Bosz’s men sank. Until then, Jarrod Bowen had taken advantage of a series of errors from Lyon to open the scoring shortly after returning from the dressing room.

The Gones still reacted quickly to equalize, via Tanguy Ndombélé, served by the Donetsk rookie, Tetê. But despite their ball control, this feat remains the only one of the night for the Lyonnais, who pushed unsuccessfully. OL may regret having had a chance to take a first step towards qualifying, but everything remains to be done for next Thursday’s return leg.

  • Marseille takes an option for qualification
Dimitri Payet from Marseille takes a corner under the protection of the security forces, in front of the Greek supporters' stand, on April 7, 2022, at the Vélodrome stadium.

The Marseillais emerge victorious in their first game against PAOK Saloniki (2-1), in the Europa League Conference, on a boiling evening at the Vélodrome stadium. While incidents had already broken out in the city of Marseille between the ultra-supporters of the Greek club and those of OM, there were also tensions within the Marseille wall.

Before kick-off, projectiles were launched between the visitor’s booth and that of the locals, into a thick smoke from smoke bombs. This projectile throwing continued throughout the meeting, as Jorge Sampaoli’s players presented themselves before the Greek supporters to take corners.

To try and make people forget about these disturbing images in the stands, Dimitri Payet put on the show on the floor. With plenty of inspiration, the Marseille captain found Gerson for the opener shortly before 15 minutes. Just before returning to the dressing room, OM number 10 even widened the gap by restarting a corner from a superb half volley outside the Greek penalty area.

PAOK, dominated in the first period, reacted from the start of the second, closing the gap via Omar El-Kaddouri. The whites and blacks were more in their favor later on, but the Marseillais let their technical superiority speak for themselves to hold the score.

They will travel to Greece for the return leg with a lead, but will have to do without a number of suspended players: Bamba Dieng and Boubacar Kamara, warned of a yellow card, as well as Gerson, who was banned at the end of the game. So nothing is done and the Phocaeans may regret not having found more shelter, especially as the reception in Greece promises to be hostile.