Althetic Bilbao - OM: Before the match

25 feb 2016
Par 
Frédéric Rostain, à Bilbao
Photos © 
Yannick Parienti / OM.net
Thursday at 7pm, OM moves into the boiling stage San Mames to face Bilbao's Athletic Club there. With a goal down, the Olympians have no other option but to win in Spain to qualify.

Everyone dreams of going to Europe It always has this effect, and always will. Whether in the Champions League or Europa League, European parties have a perfume, a special flavor. They bring out in us pleasant memories, great moments of joy not so far away that we would all like to relive. Of course, this season, European Cup matches have not unleashed the passion of the spectators in the Vélodrome stadium but, with about 10,000 people for the group matches, we went to more than 30,000 for the first leg of knockout that mark the start of the knockout phase. In Marseille and the fans of OM, the enthusiasm is there, latent, underlying, ready to wake up as soon as the stake is worth the effort or the prestige of the opponent worthwhile.

In the first leg, a week ago, Michel's men are perfectly able to take the note of their opponents in a tense, tactical game where each duel won allowed to approach a few more goals. Without Aduriz's flash of genius, there would surely have been no purpose for the evening. And everything would have been different ... Unfortunately, OM leaves with a handicap to return. The Olympians are obliged to win. Any other result would eliminate them. In this case, the calendar would ease and opportunities for the fans to get excited about would be reduced.

Basques do not lack enthousiam. The San Mamés stadium is the synonym of gathering for the Basque people, almost a place of worship. An impregnable fortress, unless it is called Real Madrid or FC Barcelona and, since last weekend, Real Sociedad. Beaten in the Basque derby, players Ernesto Valverde, driven as ever, will want to atone for the insult suffered Sunday in front of their public and ensure to continue the European adventure.
It's OM's job to block his path and trace their own ...


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