Olympique Marseille vs. Bayern München  0 - 2

Article

Mbia blames poor luck for Marseille loss

29 March 2012 12:44

Marseille defender Stephane Mbia rued his team's luck and believes they can overturn their 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich.

The Ligue 1 side are on the verge of exiting the Champions League at the quarter-final stage after goals from Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben condemned them to the loss at Stade Velodrome on Wednesday.

The defeat extended Marseille's winless run to nine matches in all competitions, putting more pressure on manager Didier Deschamps.

But Mbia said his side's loss to Bayern was the result of bad luck, and added they were capable of progressing to the last four.

"We were unlucky, just like the last game. I think if we scored in the first half everything would have changed. We are not lucky," Mbia said.

"I don't want to start talking about all the problems we have all over again.

"The most important thing now is to rest and go to Germany and try to get a result. I am pretty sure we can do it, seeing how we played today. I am sure we can do it."

Gomez opened the scoring in France after an error from Marseille goalkeeper Elinton Andrade, before Robben made it 2-0 with a neat finish.

Meanwhile, Marseille president Vincent Labrune said he was eager to address the concerns of the club's fans, who are becoming increasingly unhappy.

"There are a lot of problems now - the amount of games we play, the economic troubles in the city and these bad results from the last two months," Labrune said.

"It's quite difficult for them because they are not accustomed to seeing the club lose this amount of games in the last 30 years, so we can understand that.

"Tonight, we tried our best, we gave everything we had and we were close to getting a good result but still we lost. We are not angry with the supporters because they are always behind us."

Article

Marseille facing ´complicated´ task against Bayern

29 March 2012 01:20

Marseille boss Didier Deschamps was downcast after their 2-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg loss to Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Mario Gomez put the Bavarians ahead a minute before half-time with a well-taken finish, capitalising on third-choice goalkeeper Elinton Andrade's mistake.

The visitors to Stade Velodrome doubled their advantage via Arjen Robben midway through the second half.

The hosts had their chances, most notably within the first 10 minutes when Loic Remy - who shrugged off a hamstring problem to feature - fired inches wide from a rebound.

The Ligue 1 side face a major task in the return at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, leaving Deschamps with an uphill climb to reach the semi-finals.

"Obviously (the return leg) will be very complicated after a defeat of 2-0. I knew this before, but there are many qualities in this Bayern team," the 43-year-old told the club's official website.

"They (Bayern) do many things very well and they have this strength in (attack which) is impressive. Even if we did good things, the goal just before half-time hurt us because they had not had many opportunities.

"That's also what the great teams have, even with little ammunition."

Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes said his defence achieved their aim of keeping a clean sheet in the opening leg, to hold the upper hand heading into their home match but refused to concede the tie was a done deal.

"We achieved our aim by winning the first leg without conceding a goal," Heynckes said.

"There is another match to do and another 90 minutes to play, so I'm not going to discuss the semi-final or our potential opponents. I know football too well, and have too much respect for Marseille, to do that."

Marseille's game at the weekend against Ligue 1 leaders Montpellier has been postponed until April 11, allowing Deschamps' men to focus on the return leg.

Bayern Munich travel to Nuremberg as they resume their Bundesliga title challenge on Saturday.

Article

Ribery hails ´perfect result´ against Marseille

29 March 2012 00:28

Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery was delighted to beat old side Marseille in their Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday.

The Germans have one foot in the semi-finals after Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben gave Bayern a comfortable 2-0 advantage from their trip to the Stade Velodrome, and Ribery said it was their ideal result.

"This is a very good situation for us. The result is perfect, it is better than a goalless draw or a 1-0 victory," Ribery told Sky Sport Germany.

"We played with a lot of discipline and we deserved to win."

Ribery said he felt for Marseille's third-choice goalkeeper Elinton Andrade, who was unable to stop Gomez's shot as the ball squirmed under his body and into the net.

"I think it was a hard blow for him and Marseille. He had not played this season," Ribery said.

The France international also reiterated that he is happy with life at Bayern and admitted he does not feel comfortable playing in his homeland.

"It is always difficult for me to play in France. But now I play for Bayern, who are a great family," the 28-year-old said.

"I have been here for five years. I feel just fine, everything is perfect for me."

Article

Champions League: Marseille 0 Bayern Munich 2

28 March 2012 22:57

Bayern Munich took a big step towards progression in the Champions League after a 2-0 win away to Marseille on Wednesday.

Franck Ribery's return to the Stade Velodrome was not exactly a comfortable one, but the visitors overcame stiff resistance as they ensured a sizable advantage ahead of the second leg of the quarter-final clash in Munich.

One minute before half-time, Mario Gomez found the net under some controversy, after a suspected handball at the other end.

The goal counted nonetheless, and Marseille were forced to try to overturn the deficit. However, Arjen Robben scored a crucial second goal on 69 minutes, leaving the hosts with a mountain to climb.

Chances were few and far between in what was a physical opening half. Though cautious in their approach, the hosts were first to pose a threat on goal and were unfortunate not to take the lead on seven minutes.

Following a corner, Rod Fanni's header was tipped wide by Manuel Neuer. Loic Remy was first to the rebound, but blasted into the side netting.

After a tough start, Bayern gathered some fluency in midfield and carved out a couple of openings inside the Marseille penalty area. However, Robben slipped before seeing his window to shoot close, and Thomas Mueller's low cross found no team-mate in the centre before rolling wide.

Marseille recovered, and shortly before half-time a botched clearance from Jerome Boateng saw the ball roll to Remy. The striker was quick to shoot from the edge of the penalty area, but Neuer pounced to make a save.

Bayern would benefit from a mistake shortly after, but the Germans took their chance as Gomez fired in off Elinton Andrade's hands. Seconds before, Mathieu Valbuena had kicked the ball off Philipp Lahm's hand, but play continued as Robben slipped in Gomez, whose finish appeared to be covered by the goalkeeper before it deflected into the net.

After the break, Marseille had an encouraging start, with Valbuena nodding over the bar from Remy's cross.

Andre Ayew headed on goal in the 56th minute, but Neuer had little trouble in making a stop.

Shortly before the hour mark, Remy muscled Boateng off the ball, but Neuer was quick off his line and blocked the forward's attempt.

The balance swung in the visitors' favour around the hour mark, however. Andrade did well to deny Gomez, but with 21 minutes left, Robben made it 2-0, handing the visitors a big advantage heading into the second leg.

The Dutchman played a 1-2 pass with Mueller, and curled his finish inside the left post.

The most significant action late in the game was a booking for Bayern substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger, who will miss the second leg through suspension.

In addition, Marseille's Alou Diarra will sit out, having been booked earlier in Wednesday's match.

The result sees Bayern take a commanding lead into the second leg, which will be played on April 3. The winner of the two-legged tie will face either APOEL or Real Madrid in the semi-finals.

Article

Lahm not underestimating Marseille

28 March 2012 21:52

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm said his team would not be underestimating Champions League quarter-final opponents Marseille.

Bayern journey to the Stade Velodrome to take on Marseille on Wednesday in the first-leg of the tie, and Lahm said his team had been given a good wake-up call in the round-of-16, when they suffered a shock 1-0 first-leg defeat to Swiss club Basel.

Lahm said Bayern are determined to make a better start to their quarter-final tussle with Didier Deschamps' side.

"We were the favourites in our last-16 tie against Basel. But we lost the first leg and that was a big wake up call for us," Lahm said.

"We are the favourites to reach the semi-finals and we're confident at the moment. But we are not going to underestimate any opponent now.

"We've won the matches in the league and now we have to prove ourselves in the Champions League.

"But we've all been warned - we know that for any team who want to progress in the competition that they have to play well away from home."

Article

Valbuena awaits Ribery reunion

28 March 2012 14:45

Marseille's Mathieu Valbuena has promised Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery a special reception when the teams meet on Wednesday.

Valbuena played with Ribery for one season at Marseille before the latter's 25 million-euro switch to Bayern in 2007.

They will come face-to-face in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday, and Valbuena anticipates a memorable occasion for Ribery at the Stade Velodrome.

"It will be a special return for him because he has spent many happy years in Marseille and you never forget your time here," the 27-year-old told the club's official website.

"We will have to make it a great match for his return."

While Valbuena is aware of the danger posed by his fellow Frenchman, he also warned his team-mates against ignoring the threat posed by Bayern's other stars.

"I am not surprised at his (Ribery's) enormous growth, or what he is currently doing at Bayern," he mused.

"He will be one player among many others to watch."

Marseille, who have lost seven of their last eight games in all competitions, will be without suspended duo Steve Mandanda and Souleymane Diawara for Wednesday's clash with Bayern.

Article

Lizarazu: Marseille should be wary

28 March 2012 14:14

Former France international Bixente Lizarazu has hailed the Bayern Munich forward line, led by star striker Mario Gomez.

Retired fullback Lizarazu lined up for Bayern from 1997 until 2004 before leaving for Marseille, only to return to Bavaria and see out his playing career for a final season in 2005/06.

The 42-year-old praised Bayern's attack ahead of their Champions League quarter-final first leg away to Marseille on Wednesday.

And he believes Marseille will have to be at their very best to contain Jupp Heynckes' side.

"Bayern's attack, led by Mario Gomez, one of Europe's best strikers, is incredibly dangerous," Lizarazu told Bayern's website.

"Franck Ribery is in top form and sets up lots of goals. And then you have (Arjen) Robben and (Thomas) Muller as well.

"Marseille will have to be just as alert as they were against Inter (in the round of 16), especially at the back. And they'll have to do more attacking than they did against Inter.

"Marseille will show a different side of their character in the Champions League compared to Ligue 1, as we saw against Inter."

Article

Champions League preview: Marseille v Bayern Munich

28 March 2012 05:26

Marseille must try to shake off an eight-game winless streak as they prepare for their Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich.

The club from the French south coast have not won since their round of 16 first leg against Inter Milan as they have plummeted to ninth in Ligue 1.

In fact, in that eight-game period, Marseille lost seven in a row, ending that run with a 1-1 draw against Nice on Saturday.

Playing away from home, Didier Deschamps' side threw away a one-goal lead when Nice defender Luciano Monzon's penalty cancelled out Andre Ayew's goal.

Ayew is the clear star in Deschamps' squad, providing creativity, speed and goals from midfield.

The 22-year-old Ghana international has been crucial in the Champions League, having scored four goals for Marseille, including the late winner in Marseille's 1-0 victory over Inter on February 22.

Marseille face a tough test to continue their European adventure, with Bayern especially keen to make the final because it will be played at their home stadium in Munich in May.

Bayern are in ominous form having scored over six goals in three of their past five matches, including a 7-0 demolition of Basel in their Champions League round of 16 second leg.

Jupp Heynckes' team is second in the Bundesliga and trail Borussia Dortmund by five points.

Bayern beat Hannover 2-1 on Sunday thanks to goals from Toni Kroos and Mario Gomez.

Gomez has had a brilliant season, averaging a goal a game for Bayern across all competitions, including 10 goals in seven Champions League matches.

The 26-year-old striker scored four against Basel and will be looking forward to taking on a Marseille side that has conceded an average of two goals per game over their last four matches.

Article

Marseille playing to win against Bayern

28 March 2012 03:02

Didier Deschamps has rejected the notion it will be a 'miracle' if Marseille beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The Marseille boss admitted Bayern will start the Stade Velodrome clash as favourites, but is confident his side can be competitive in the first leg of their quarter-final clash.

The sides have never met in any competition, but Bayern head into the match having lost only two of their past eight outings in this season's Champions League.

"I would not say a miracle, but it's obvious Bayern are favourites, as they are one of a number of UEFA Champions League winners, so we came back in the same configuration as we were against Inter, against a team which is actually on a get run, which was not the case of Inter Milan," Deschamps said on Tuesday.

"Anyway we must play two great games, and make two exploits on the first and second legs. But you know even if we were in good shape, it would have been the same deal for us. There is still a lot of imbalance and differences between a club like Bayern and us, for example when they start a new competition they always look for a final win."

Deschamps said it will be a matter of converting opportunities that fall their way against the disciplined Bundesliga side.

"We wanted to reach the round of 16, so we went through, and now we are happy and have the great honour to play this game against Bayern. We will have our chances but we have to play at 100 percent," he said.

Deschamps has confirmed third-choice goalkeeper Elinton Andrade will deputise for Steve Mandanda, who is unavailable after being sent off in their round-of-16 second-leg loss to Inter Milan.

The coach said second-choice keeper Gennaro Bracigliano will be on the bench, after putting in a questionable performance in Marseille's 3-2 loss to Quevilly in the Coupe de France.

Article

Ribery wary of Marseille

25 March 2012 16:55

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery said his former club Marseille will provide tough opposition in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Bayern journey to the Stade Velodrome for Wednesday's first-leg clash, and although Marseille are struggling in eighth position in Ligue 1, Ribery believes Didier Deschamps side will be no pushover.

"This is the Champions League, it is a different situation. And this is a good team (Marseille). This will be a tough game," Ribery said.

The France international departed Marseille five years ago and will return to his old stomping ground later this week for the first time with Bayern.

Ribery is looking forward to going back to Marseille but is adamant that he made the right decision in leaving for Munich in the summer of 2007.

When asked if he still has some affection for his former employers, the winger replied: "Of course, I played two years at Marseille, but I'm very happy here at Bayern."

Ribery also pointed out that Bayern showed some signs of fatigue in their 2-1 victory over Hannover on Saturday, after a midweek DFP-Pokal win over Borussia Moenchengladbach.

"The team is of course a little tired," he said. "After the cup game, though, this is normal."

Article

Schweinsteiger wary of Marseille

16 March 2012 16:17

Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger says his side face a difficult task against Marseille in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Bayern avoided favourites Barcelona and Real Madrid in Friday's draw, and appear to have received a favourable tie against French club Marseille, who have been inconsistent in Ligue 1 this season.

Nevertheless, midfielder Schweinsteiger feels Didier Deschamps' men are likely to prove worthy opponents as Bayern seek to reach the final at their Allianz Arena home.

"It is a difficult task, but if we want to win the Champions League, we have to face up to it," he said.

"The good thing is that our first match is away from home."

Schweinsteiger's team-mate Holger Badstuber acknowledged Bayern avoided some harder teams in the draw, but also cautioned against underestimating Marseille.

"Phew. Not an easy draw, but it could have been worse," Badstuber said.

"But Marseille beat Inter."

Bundesliga club Bayern visit Marseille, who defeated 2009/10 Champions League winners Inter Milan in the round of 16, on March 27, with the return leg scheduled for April 4.

Bayern smashed Swiss champions Basel 7-1 on aggregate to reach the last eight.

Article

Ribery awaits Marseille reunion

16 March 2012 15:47

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery is already relishing a Champions League quarter-final against former club Marseille.

France international Ribery spent two years with Marseille between 2005 and 2007, and will be back at the Stade Velodrome for the first leg of the last-eight tie on March 28.

He has warned his Bayern colleagues to expect a warm welcome in the south of France later this month.

"This is not easy," he told UEFA.com following Friday's draw.

"In Marseille there is a fantastic atmosphere. The people live for football ... 60,000 spectators will be against us."

"But we are FC Bayern. We have high targets."

Bayern, runners-up to Inter Milan in 2009/10, will be aiming to reach the final at their Allianz Arena Arena on May 19.

Article

Mandanda considers Bayern favourites

16 March 2012 15:05

Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda says Bayern Munich are clear favourites to progress from the teams' Champions League quarter-final tie.

Ligue 1 side Marseille eliminated out-of-form Serie A team Inter Milan in the previous round, but are up against Bundesliga heavyweights Bayern in the last eight.

France international Mandanda claims Marseille are simply pleased to have reached this stage of the competition, and will consider further progress an unexpected bonus.

"In the quarter-finals, you cannot avoid big fish," he told Uefa.com.

"Bayern are a very big team and it will be difficult. We are happy because we have reached this stage of the competition and we cannot wait because it is an important game."

"It is obvious that Bayern are favourites in this tie but we will try our best."

Mandanda will be suspended for the first leg at Marseille's Stade Velodrome home, after being in Tuesday's last-16 second leg away to Inter.

Team-mate Souleymane Diawara is also banned for the first match, which will take place on March 28.

Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
4 34 +15 57
5 33 +11 54
6 33 +10 51
7 33 +2 45
8 33 -4 45

Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
1 30 +62 78
2 30 +35 61
3 30 +18 58
4 30 +13 51
5 30 +8 50