Marseille need to make it four home wins out of four in the UEFA Europa Conference League if they are to reach the inaugural final at the expense of Feyenoord.
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Marseille need to make it four home wins out of four in the UEFA Europa Conference League if they are to reach the inaugural final at the expense of a Feyenoord side who ended the French club's perfect record in the competition with a 3-2 win in the semi-final first leg in Rotterdam.
• Marseille came third in UEFA Europa League Group E during the autumn, behind Galatasaray and Lazio, winning only their final fixture, at home to Lokomotiv Moskva, before sailing through their UEFA Europa Conference League knockout round play-off against Qarabağ (3-1 h, 3-0 a) and also claiming home and away wins against both Basel in the round of 16 (2-1 h, 2-1 a) and PAOK in the quarter-finals (2-1 h, 1-0 a), with Dimitri Payet on target in both games against the Greek Cup holders.
• Feyenoord finished six points ahead of Slavia Praha to top UEFA Europa Conference League Group E undefeated and qualify directly for the round of 16, where they added two more victories in comfortably disposing of Partizan 8-3 on aggregate (5-2 a, 3-1 h). They re-encountered the Czech champions in the quarter-final and defeated them 6-4 on aggregate (3-3 h, 3-1 a), striker Cyriel Dessers scoring twice in the second-leg win in Prague.
• Dessers was on the scoresheet twice more in the first leg of the semi-final to take his goal tally for the competition to a top-scoring ten, the Nigerian striker opening and closing the scoring of a pulsating encounter in which Marseille came from two behind – through Bamba Dieng and Gerson – after Luis Sinisterra had doubled the home side's lead.
• The clubs have been paired just once previously, in the second group stage of the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League, when Feyenoord got the better of Marseille, winning 3-0 at home and drawing 0-0 away, though neither team made it through to the quarter-finals.
• Marseille's record against Dutch clubs in UEFA competition is W7 D2 L7. In France it is W4 D1 L3, the four wins having come in their last five matches, the most recent 2-1 against Groningen on Matchday 5 of the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League. Their all-time record in two-legged knockout ties against Dutch sides is W2 L2, with victories in the two most recent – both in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup, when they overcame Twente on penalties in the round of 32 (0-1 h, 1-0 a) before eliminating Ajax, who had twice eliminated OM in previous ties, after extra time in the round of 16 (2-1 h, 2-2 a).
• Feyenoord have played in France just twice since that 0-0 draw in Marseille in 2000, losing 3-0 away to Nancy in the UEFA Cup group stage in both 2006/07 and 2008/09. Their sole victory in the country came on their first visit – 1-0 at Reims in the first leg of a 2-1 aggregate success in the quarter-final of the 1962/63 European Cup. Their only other previous two-legged UEFA tie against French opponents was an away goals defeat by Monaco in the 1991/92 European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final (1-1 a, 2-2 h).
• Fifth in last season's Ligue 1, which they completed under current coach Jorge Sampaoli, who arrived in February, Marseille returned to the UEFA Europa League for a fifth appearance in the group stage – a record for a French club – after finishing fourth in their UEFA Champions League section last season behind Manchester City, Porto and Olympiacos.
• OM suffered their third UEFA Europa League group stage failure this term, drawing all of their first four fixtures, including twice against Lazio (0-0 a, 2-2 h), before surrendering any chance of further progress when they lost 4-2 at Galatasaray on Matchday 5. A closing 1-0 home win against Lokomotiv confirmed their third-placed finish on seven points – five more than the Russian side – before they eased through their first three UEFA Europa Conference League ties against Qarabağ, Basel and PAOK, winning all six matches.
• Marseille have previously appeared in six European semi-finals, losing the first two and winning the last four, the most recent after extra time against Salzburg in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League (2-0 h, 1-2 a). There were no semi-finals in the inaugural UEFA Champions League of 1992/93, when they lifted their only major European trophy with a 1-0 final victory against AC Milan.
• Marseille won eight of their nine matches at the Stade Vélodrome, including all four in the knockout phase, en route to the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League final in Lyon, where they were beaten 3-0 by Atlético de Madrid. They then lost their next five European home encounters before their current seven-game unbeaten run (W5 D2), which includes wins in the last four. They have yet to keep a home clean sheet, however, in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
• OM have won four and lost four of the eight UEFA competition ties in which they were defeated away in the first leg, the most recent aggregate victory achieved against Leipzig in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League (0-1 a, 5-2 h) – their third success out of three when they have trailed from the first away leg by a one-goal margin. The only previous tie in which they went into the home leg trailing 2-3 was in the second round of the 1990/91 European Cup, when they overwhelmed Lech Poznań 6-1 back at the Stade Vélodrome.
• Fifth in the Dutch Eredivisie last season, 29 points in arrears of champions Ajax, Feyenoord secured their fifth European group stage appearance in six seasons by coming through three UEFA Europa Conference League qualifying rounds under new head coach Arne Slot at the expense of Drita, Luzern and Elfsborg.
• The Rotterdam club had failed to make further progress in four successive European group stage participations until this season, most recently finishing third in their UEFA Europa League section last term, but they had no such difficulties in UEFA Europa Conference League Group E, taking four points off both Slavia (2-1 h, 2-2 a) and Maccabi Haifa (0-0 a, 2-1 h) and all six off Union Berlin (3-1 h, 2-1 a) before putting 14 goals past Partizan and Slavia in the knockout phase. They are undefeated in the competition proper with eight wins and three draws.
• This is Feyenoord's first European semi-final since they lifted the UEFA Cup for the second time 20 years ago. They defeated Italian giants Inter 3-2 on aggregate (1-0 a, 2-2 h) that season to make their overall record in UEFA semi-finals W3 L4 and end a run of three successive defeats.
• The recent wins in Belgrade and Prague are two of just six victories in Feyenoord's last 35 European away fixtures (D9 L20). Their away record in the UEFA Europa Conference League, however, is W4 D3 L1, the sole defeat 1-3 at Elfsborg in the second leg of the qualifying play-offs after they had won the first game 5-0 in Rotterdam.
• Feyenoord have won 21 of the 26 previous UEFA ties in which they recorded a home victory in the first leg, including this season's UEFA Europa Conference League play-off against Elfsborg. The five aggregate defeats have all come on the 14 occasions when they won the first home leg by a one-goal margin, including the most recent of those ties, against Gent in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League qualifying play-offs (1-0 h, 0-2 a). This is the first time the Rotterdam club have won the opening home leg 3-2.
Links and trivia
• Marseille's Arkadiusz Milik played from 2014 to 2016 with Feyenoord's traditional domestic rivals Ajax. The Polish striker scored 32 Eredivisie goals for the Amsterdam club but none against Feyenoord.
• Marseille's Cengiz Ünder and Feyenoord's Orkun Kökçü are both current Turkish internationals.
• Philippe Sandler joined Feyenoord in February after spending the first half of this season on loan at French Ligue 1 club Troyes.
• Dessers is the leading scorer in the UEFA Europa Conference League, his tally of ten goals putting him two ahead of Roma's Tammy Abraham.
• Feyenoord have scored at least two goals in all of their last ten UEFA Europa Conference League matches and at least three in each of the last five. They are the top-scoring team in the competition proper with 28 goals – two more than Roma.
• Feyenoord, who won the European Cup in 1969/70, and Marseille, the inaugural UEFA Champions League winners, are the only two former European champions competing in this season's semi-finals of both the UEFA Europa Conference League and the UEFA Europa League. There are just two more in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League – Real Madrid and Liverpool.
• Marseille lost 0-3 at home to Lyon on Sunday – their heaviest Ligue 1 defeat of the season – whereas Feyenoord registered their fifth successive win in all competitions, a 3-1 Eredivisie success at Fortuna Sittard making it eight games undefeated.
• Marseille's record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L1:
3-5 v Crvena zvezda, 1990/91 European Champion Clubs' Cup final
4-1 v Germinal Beerschot, 2005/06 UEFA Cup first round
7-6 v FC Twente, 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 32
• Feyenoord's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L0:
5-3 v Sion, 1991/92 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round
5-4 v PSV Eindhoven, 2001/02 UEFA Cup quarter-final