Milan out to master Marseille again

In a section in which all four teams still retain qualifying hopes, AC Milan hold the advantage as Group C leaders and they will be looking to extend their one-point lead over Matchday 5 opponents Olympique de Marseille.

Milan out to master Marseille again
Milan out to master Marseille again ©

All four teams remain in contention for the qualifying places in UEFA Champions League Group C but the edge is with leaders AC Milan and they will be looking to extend their advantage over Olympique de Marseille, who are a point behind them in third place.

• Ronaldinho's penalty earned Milan a 1-1 draw with Real Madrid CF at San Siro on Matchday 4 after a 3-2 win away to the Spanish giants. Karim Benzema had put the visitors ahead.

• On the same night Marseille struck goalscoring form in a 6-1 win against FC Zürich. Fabrice Abriel had one free-kick turned into an own goal for the first while another flew in direct. After the visitors had pulled one back, Mamadou Niang struck as did Hilton, Benoît Cheyrou and Brandão late on for an emphatic victory.

Previous meetings
• The story of the first game between Milan and Marseille at Stade Vélodrome was of trademark finishing from Filippo Inzaghi, who scored in each half with Gabriel Heinze equalising for the hosts early in the second period.

• Marseille became the first French team to lift the European Champion Clubs' Cup when Basile Boli's 43rd-minute goal earned victory against Milan in Munich's Olympiastadion on 26 May 1993.

• Their only other meeting came two seasons earlier in the quarter-finals of the same competition and OM again had the better of things, forcing a 1-1 draw in Italy with Ruud Gullit and Jean-Pierre Papin on the scoresheet. Chris Waddle scored the only goal in the return.

Match background
• The Ligue 1 runners-up have remained unbeaten on their last two competitive visits to Italy, drawing at S.S. Lazio 1-1 in the 2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup semi-final and winning 1-0 at FC Internazionale Milano in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup quarter-final. They lost the 1999 UEFA Cup final 3-0 against Parma FC in Moscow.

• Milan lost their last home game against French opposition, going down 2-0 against LOSC Lille Métropole in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group stage. That was their only reverse in a total of ten home games, seven of which they have won.

• Milan are still looking for their first home win in this season's competition and have not won in their last four UEFA Champions League matches at San Siro. Their last home game before this season's campaign finished in a 2-0 reverse against Arsenal FC in the 2007/08 first knockout round and elimination by the same aggregate scoreline. That was their first loss in seven home fixtures, five of which ended in victory.

• Should Milan finish top of the section it will be their seventh successive campaign in the competition that they have progressed as group winners.

• Marseille's victory at Zürich on Matchday 3 brought an end to a run of six successive away defeats in the competition. They lost all three games on their travels in last season's group stage.

• In only one of their last four UEFA Champions League campaigns have Marseille advanced beyond the initial group stage, in 1999/2000.

• Marseille's heaviest defeat in the competition (group stage to final) came in Italy, a 5-1 reverse against Lazio in the 1999/2000 second group stage.

Team ties
• Didier Deschamps captained France to victory in the 1998 FIFA World Cup final against a Brazil side with Leonardo in midfield.

• Papin was a member of the Milan side beaten by OM in 1993, less than a year after ending a six-year spell with the French club.

• Mathieu Flamini was born in Marseille and played 14 league games for his hometown club before joining Arsenal in 2004.

• Flavio Roma (AS Monaco FC, 2001-2009) and Ronaldinho (Paris Saint-Germain FC, 2001-2003) have also played in France.

• Heinze was in the Manchester United FC team that lost both legs of their 2004/05 first knockout round tie against Milan 1-0. He also played a full role in the 2006/07 semi-final with United winning the home leg 3-2 but then going down 3-0 in Milan.

• Fernando Morientes was on loan at Liverpool when they beat Milan in the 2005 final but was ineligible.

• Heinze and Klaas Jan Huntelaar were team-mates at Madrid last season.