Soccer-Marseille come from behind to thrash 10-man Sporting Lisbon

  • Football
  • Wednesday, 05 Oct 2022

Soccer Football - Champions League - Group D - Olympique de Marseille v Sporting CP - Orange Velodrome, Marseille, France - October 4, 2022 Olympique de Marseille's Alexis Sanchez in action with Sporting CP's Franco Israel REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) -Olympique de Marseille secured their first Champions League win of the season when they recovered from a shaky start to outclass 10-man Sporting Lisbon 4-1 in an incident-packed Group D encounter at an empty Stade Velodrome on Tuesday.

The game, played behind closed doors after crowd trouble marred Marseille's home game against Eintracht Frankfurt, was delayed by more than 20 minutes following Sporting's late arrival at the stadium due to a traffic jam.

Francisco Trincao put the Portuguese visitors ahead after just 51 seconds when he picked up the ball on the right and curled a sublime left-footed effort into the bottom corner of the goal.

But Marseille turned the tide in the space of three frantic minutes, with Alexis Sanchez first scoring a freak equaliser when goalkeeper Antonio Adan smashed his clearance against the Chilean before Amine Harit nodded home in the 16th minute for the lead.

Adan's difficult evening came to a premature end seven minutes later when he was given a red card for handling outside the area, and the hosts made that advantage count instantly as Leonardo Balerdi beat his marker to score from Harit's corner.

"The more experienced the player, the greater the self-criticism," said Sporting manager Ruben Amorim of his goalkeeper, who was also guilty of conceding possession in the run-up to the second goal.

"He can analyse his own displays. I don't need to tell him anything. He has already saved us many times."

Amorim's side frustrated Marseille after the break before Chancel Mbemba wrapped up the points in the 84th minute when he finished expertly following Sanchez's initial effort.

"After a game like this one, I don't really want to make individual praise. I really want to congratulate the whole team who played a very serious game against a very good team," said Marseille boss Igor Tudor.

"Next week (the reverse fixture), of course the game will be different. With the public, at home, against a strong team led by a good coach. I've said it before I like how this team play."

Sporting remain top of the group with six points from three games, with Marseille three points behind. Tottenham Hotspur were playing Eintracht later on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)

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