Marseille 2-1 Lyon : and the L'Orange Velodrome erupted...

01 feb 2017
Par 
Thierry Muratelle
Photos © 
Yannick Parienti / OM.net 2017
Ten years later, to the day, Marseille eliminates Lyon from the French Cup in extra time in a stadium whose colors recall beautiful hours long gone. Now, on to the 1/8 finals...

It's so good, yes, so good to hear the L'Orange Velodrome erupt, scream, shout, sing, shake. Delicious to see the public unify, in no rush to leave the warming venue, architect of a welcome success. Yes, it's good to see the supporters happy, as qualification is the sweet result of a spellbinding, stressful evening (oh! Pelé's save at minute 119). One had to withstand it for 120 minutes Two hours, no more no less, with highs, lows, periods of strong play upon which the Olympians failed to capitalize, periods of weakness, the life of a match in a nut shell. If one regret must be expressed, it's that of the decision to push back the all important match away at Metz by three days, but if success favors recuperation, this will only quicken it as it takes on a prestigious character against a high caliber opponent. The Olympians won on the ground, they imposed themselves in the most important moments, as they had the majority of chances, particularly in the first half, to their advantage. Despite their initial imprecision, they injected rhythm into an intense match with numerous battles, but reality was not optimal, as the advantage at the break should have been made clear on the score board. As time passed, one couldn't help but feel insecure Lyon then took one back after the break, taking full advantage of the Olympian's deeper back line which for long stretches failed to push the ball forward into attacking positions. The visitors controlled the field, relying heavily upon their technical quality, and were inevitably rewarded in taking advantage of their opponents loss of concentration. Despite these second half difficulties, the Olympians held their heads high. They still had scoring opportunities, but stress took hold, most of all among the supporters. The clock wound down, expressions tightened, fatigue took hold, no doubt about it. When the second period of extra time began, one could sense both squad's determination to not commit a decisive error. The ball turned round by the force of what little remained of their determination. time flew, evaporated, when suddenly...Suddenly, a gap on the right side, a center from Cabella and Doria plunges between two Lyonn defenders and strikes toward goal. We would wait no more A goal, a single goal, one more, a goal that would erupt, a goal that would shake the foundations. This was not the greatest match of all time, but it did reconcile the supporters with the beautiful nights we've so lacked these last few years. It was enough for one big exhale It was felt soon after 11pm when it passed through the air at the L'Orange Velodrome It was felt, one could say, well after that. Marseille found its smile again The Olympians haven't won anything yet, it's true, but the adventure continues...


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