Scamacca strikes as Atalanta hold Marseille to boost Europa League dream

Estimated read time 2 min read

Marseille were held to a 1-1 home draw by Atalanta in a hard-fought Europa League semi-final, first-leg tie in France on Thursday.

Gianluca Scamacca put the visitors ahead after 11 minutes when Teun Koopmeiners found him unmarked in the box to fire low into the far post. It was the striker’s 16th goal in all competitions this season – double the total he managed in his solitary season at West Ham.

The former Newcastle defender Chancel Mbemba equalised for Marseille nine minutes later with a superb long-range strike following a corne, his effort finding the net after hitting a post. Both sides missed chances to score further goals to leave the Italians happier heading into the return leg.

“I expected a few more goals, to be honest,” the Atalanta coach, Gian Piero Gasperini, said. “We had to struggle tonight, but it’s a good result, as Olympique [Marseille] lost once here all year against PSG and give their best in this stadium.”

“It’s a good result, we knew the atmosphere would be tough tonight,” Scamacca told Sky Italia. “I just try to do the best I can for my team. My teammates put me in the best conditions to score.”

“We had a tactical plan, we knew we had to go after them and press them, make it difficult for them. I think we should have done a bit more,” the Marseille midfielder Amine Harit told Canal Plus. “Despite everything I think tonight we had a very good match.”

skip past newsletter promotion

Chancel Mbemba equalises from long range for the hosts in Marseille.View image in fullscreen

Marseille will travel to Bergamo for the second leg next Thursday. The winners will meet either Roma or Bayer Leverkusen in the final on 22 May in Dublin; Leverkusen will take a 2-0 lead into the second leg in Germany.

“If Marseille got to the semi-final, it means they are good away too,” Gasperini added. “It’s true their results were not at the same standard as at home, but they remain a good team and we need a great performance.

“We have an incredible opportunity, 1-1 is a good result and we need to win [at home]. Whether we do it in 90 minutes, after 120 [minutes] or with penalties, we want to reach the final.”


You May Also Like

More From Author