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Drogba gives Marseille upper hand

Published: Friday 9 April 2004
Olympique de Marseille 1-0 FC Internazionale Didier Drogba scores the only goal in France.

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Published: Friday 9 April 2004

Drogba gives Marseille upper hand

Olympique de Marseille 1-0 FC Internazionale Didier Drogba scores the only goal in France.

By Matthew Spiro at the Stade Vélodrome

Olympique de Marseille seized the initiative in their UEFA Cup quarter-final against FC Internazionale, earning a slender 1-0 first-leg victory thanks to Didier Drogba's second-half goal in a pulsating match.

Mixed fortunes
The Ivorian international struck in the first minute of the second half to give his side something to defend in Wednesday's second leg at the San Siro - but will miss that match having picked up his third yellow card in European competition for excessive celebrations.
 
Lone furrow
Marseille lined up with Drogba as a lone striker in the absence of the suspended Ahmed Hossam 'Mido' and the injured Steve Marlet, while playmakers Laurent Batlles and Camel Meriem were handed a rare opportunity to start a game together.

Adani opportunity
Inter coach Alberto Zaccheroni was forced into a defensive reshuffle, Marco Materazzi being replaced by Daniele Adani after failing a late fitness test. Greek international Giorgios Karagounis took the place of the ineligible Dejan Stankovic behind strikers Obafemi Martins and Christian Vieri. 
 
Marseille momentum
The visitors were also forced to change their goalkeeper and Alberto Fontana, standing in for the injured Francesco Toldo, was called into action as early as the second minute, reacting quickly to push out a stinging drive from Meriem. Spurred on by the home fans, Marseille attacked relentlessly in a frantic opening, with Drogba's ambitious overhead kick flashing well wide from the edge of the area. 
 
Meriem miss
Cristiano Zanetti glanced a header past the far post from Karagounis' 12th-minute corner but it was a rare moment of danger for the home side, who dominated the first 30 minutes. Inter were having difficulty picking up Meriem, who wasted a glorious chance to open the scoring on 26 minutes. Demetrius Ferreira's high ball was chested down beautifully by Drogba into the path of Meriem, but the midfield player blazed his shot high into the stand. 
 
Vieri denied
As Marseille's momentum steadily decreased, Inter demonstrated their threat on the counterattack and five minutes before the break, Vieri raced on to a perfectly-timed return pass from Martins and forced Fabien Barthez to palm his swerving cross-shot to safety.

Drogba breakthrough
The second half was barely under way when Marseille scored. Inter's defence lost concentration as Drogba raced on to a high pass through the middle and, after he had totally miscued a right-foot volley, the ball dropped kindly for the striker to lash a shot high past Fontana from close range.
 
Home advantage
Marseille took heart from the strike and should have doubled their lead on 53 minutes. Ferreira delivered a dangerous cross from the right to Batlles, unmarked free at the far post, but he headed wide with just the goalkeeper to beat. The Inter defence was under pressure again when Mathieu Flamini broke down the right and crossed low, but Drogba could only flick wide.

Golden chance
The home team looked certain to score on 65 minutes when Fabio Cannavaro's slip let in Meriem, but the Frenchman lost his footing after rounding Fontana and only succeeded in hitting the post under pressure. In control, Marseille continued to press, Habib Beye heading straight at Fontana from a Batlles free-kick, before Drogba flashed a shot past the far post seconds later.

Meriem chance
Inter showed more urgency in the closing stages but made little impression on the home defence and it was Meriem who came closest to adding another goal with a swerving shot just over the bar. But his side had already done enough to win the match and travel to Italy next week with the upper hand.

Last updated: 09/04/04 16.27CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2003/matches/round=1722/match=75052/postmatch/report/index.html#drogba+gives+marseille+upper+hand

Lineups

marseille

Marseille

internazionale

Internazionale

28
BarthezFabien Barthez (GK)
12
FontanaAlberto Fontana (GK)
2
Demetrius FerreiraDemetrius Ferreira
2
CórdobaIván Córdoba
Substitution58
3
Dos SantosManuel Dos Santos
4
ZanettiJavier Zanetti
12
MéïtéAbdoulaye Méïté
15
AdaniDaniele Adani
23
BeyeHabib Beye
17
CannavaroFabio Cannavaro
32
FlaminiMathieu Flamini
6
ZanettiCristiano Zanetti
6
HemdaniBrahim Hemdani
18
Kily GonzálezKily González
7
N'DiayeSylvain N'Diaye
19
KaragounisGiorgos Karagounis
Substitution66
18
MeriemCamel Meriem
25
AlmeydaMatias Almeyda
26
BatllesLaurent Batlles
Substitution81
30
MartinsObafemi Martins
11
DrogbaDidier Drogba
Goal46
32
VieriChristian Vieri

Substitutes

30
GavanonJérémy Gavanon (GK)
71
CordazAlex Cordaz (GK)
21
EckerJohnny Ecker
13
HelvegThomas Helveg
14
VachoušekŠtěpán Vachoušek
Substitution81
24
GamarraCarlos Gamarra
Substitution58
Substitution85
29
CelestiniFabio Celestini
5
Emre BelözoğluEmre Belözoğlu
Substitution66
33
CicutNicolas Cicut
8
LamouchiSabri Lamouchi
36
BaKhalifa Ba
14
FarinósFrancisco Farinós
Substitution85
38
CantareilAlaina Cantareil
7
Van der MeydeAndy van der Meyde

Coach

José Anigo (FRA) Alberto Zaccheroni (ITA)

Referee

Lucilio Cardoso Cortez Batista (POR)

Assistant referees

Paulo Jorge Januario Leite Ribeiro (POR), Jose Cardinal (POR)

Fourth official

Pedro Proença (POR)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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