Make or break for Marseille

Didier Drogba said Olympique de Marseille must be more imposing when they visit FC Porto on Tuesday.

By Graham Hunter in Porto

Olympique de Marseille's UEFA Champions League hopes hang in the balance ahead of their visit to FC Porto, with the French side reflecting on the need to get tougher after suffering a 3-2 defeat against their Portuguese opponents on Matchday 3.

Playing for second
With Real Madrid CF holding a five-point advantage at the top of Group F, the other three sides in the section - Porto, Marseille and FK Partizan - are effectively aiming to qualify for the knockout stage in second place.

Losing streak
However, Marsille have lost their last six Champions League away games and were beaten by Porto at the Stade Vélodrome two weeks ago. In addition, a 1-0 defeat at FC Girondins de Bordeaux at the weekend saw the French team drop off the pace at the top of Ligue 1, with Alain Perrin's side ending the match with nine men following the dismissals of Philippe Christanval and Didier Drogba.

'Nice football not enough'
Drogba, the Champions League's leading scorer with five goals, admits that the team are lacking in certain areas. "We seem to have a problem when the going gets tough," the striker said. "With our potential we seem to believe that playing nice football will be enough to win. But that is not the way to play, it's about imposing yourself on a game."

'Commitment and combativeness'
Marseille coach Perrin agrees that his side need to be more purposeful, saying: "We have to rival our opponents' level of commitment and combativeness before trying to impose our technical plan on a game. We seem to keep hitting this problem and our style of play means we are susceptible to the counterattack."

High tempo
Perrin's team face a side dedicated to high-octane, combative football, which played a large part in Porto's victory in last season's UEFA Cup. However, despite the contrasting fortunes of the two teams, Porto coach José Mourinho believes the first goal at the Das Antas stadium could be crucial.

'Never decisive'
"If you score first against a team that normally loses away from home, that could affect their spirit," said the Porto coach. "But we need to play with victory in our minds, keep our belief and play until the last minute. The first goal is never decisive."

'In our hands'
Porto midfield player Deco is suspended but Mourinho does not believe the playmaker's absence will overly affect his side, saying: "It is frustrating because he is back near his best, but we have won without him. We have many good midfield players and Dmitri Alenichev and Pedro Mendes are top quality. Our goal is to make our name known around Europe for playing good football, to take six points from these remaining two home games and to take our Champions League fate in our own hands."

'We can get a result'
Drogba, whose 13 goals in all competitions mark him out as a significant danger, sees things differently. "It makes little difference having lost at the weekend, or that this is a tough place to come," he said. "We have a strong talented team and we can get an important result here."

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