Marseille’s players DID NOT KNOW a draw against Spurs would take them to the Europa League, Chancel Mbemba reveals, as he claims a ‘lack of communication’ cost his side in their latest gasping Champions League defeat
Marseille’s players didn’t realize that a draw against Tottenham would earn them a spot in the Europa League, Chancel Mbemba has revealed.
The French side crashed out of the Champions League on Tuesday after Spurs came from behind to win 2-1 thanks to second-half goals from Clement Lenglet and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Ahead of Hojbjerg’s last gasp winner, Marseille finished third in Group D and would have fallen into the Europa League as a result, as Eintracht Frankfurt had confirmed their 2-1 win against Sporting Lisbon moments earlier.
Chancel Mbemba said his players didn’t know that a draw would put them in third place
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s 95th-minute winner against Marseille sealed first place for Tottenham
However, Igor Tudor’s side kept pushing relentlessly for a winning goal and eventually Hojbjerg enabled the 95th-minute winner to score on the counter-attack, sending Marseille out of both the Champions League and Europa League.
After the game, Mbemba told beIN Sports: “On the bench they knew what was going on with Sporting. For us there was a lack of communication.
‘That’s football. We dominated in the first half. And then, in the second half, it was Tottenham.
“We had to stick together to manage our game well. That’s what the little details are about. That’s football, but it hurts a lot.’
Marseille dropped out of both the Champions League and the Europa League due to the loss
Mbemba took advantage of a quickly taken corner and headed Marseille ahead just before half-time, giving them a well-deserved lead after a dominant display in the first half.
At this stage, the French side would have gone on to the Champions League knockouts and knocked Tottenham out of the competition, but Lenglet’s header in the 54th minute put Spurs back in the driver’s seat.
Hojbjerg’s stoppage time winner meant Antonio Conte’s side sealed first place in Group D with 11 points, while Frankfurt continued in second place at 10 ahead of Sporting and Marseille.