Marseille and Man Utd firing blanks in Champions League

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Manchester United and Marseille shared the spoils, but no goals, as the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie ended in a drab and forgettable 0-0 draw here on Wednesday.

With Marseille fearful of conceding an away goal and United rusty in attack the game was reduced to a war of attrition in which ponderous passing and stout defending were the order of the day.

The game’s best chance saw Darren Fletcher draw a smart save from Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda with a low drive and it was one of few highlights on a night when the teams succeeded only in cancelling each other out.

In the absence of a knockout blow in the first leg, a goal for Marseille in the return match on March 15 will put them in a commanding position to reach the last eight for the first time since they won the tournament in 1993.

Marseille coach Didier Deschamps had spoken before the match about the importance of keeping a clean sheet and with his side starting the game in cautious fashion, United were allowed to take the initiative.

The visitors appeared keen to test former United player Gabriel Heinze’s ageing legs in the Marseille left-back position and Nani was regularly sought out with searching passes into the space behind the Argentine.

Fletcher’s chance arrived in the eighth minute as he tested Mandanda with a skidding effort from the edge of the box, while Souleymane Diawara showed alertness to block from Wayne Rooney.

The good positions that Marseille did manage to adopt were squandered due to a reluctance to shoot at goal, testament perhaps to the absence through injury of in-form striker Andre-Pierre Gignac.

A miscued overhead kick by Brandao was all they could muster in the first 45 minutes, while United’s own momentum faded after a bright start.

The hosts enjoyed a more promising spell early in the second period, with Edwin van der Sar called into action by a Brandao header before Andre Ayew thrashed a half-volley across goal and wide from the left-hand side.

The hosts’ flurry of attacking endeavour roused the notoriously demanding Stade Velodrome crowd but United — who conceded just one goal in the group phase — defended calmly and were not unduly troubled.

A moment of inattention from Rod Fanni gave Dimitar Berbatov a sight of goal at the other end but Diawara intervened smartly to get in the way of the Bulgarian’s shot.

Deschamps introduced Mathieu Valbuena, freshly recovered from a knee injury, with 11 minutes to play but the France winger’s first touch spoke of weeks on the sidelines as he tamely let the ball roll out of play.

Mandanda saved at Nani’s feet to keep the Premier League leaders at bay before the fans’ patience was finally rewarded by the final whistle.

Be the first to comment:

Write a detailed comment of at least 350 characters to earn a reward point.
Results and Fixtures

Top Soccer Tipsters
Today Predictions in Tipsters Competition
Unknown brainmandemoney posts a Correct Score tip on Macarthur vs Melbourne Victory
12 minutes ago
Unknown cena posts a Exact Total Goals tip on UD Oliveirense vs Academico Viseu
29 minutes ago
Unknown cena posts a Correct Score tip on UD Oliveirense vs Academico Viseu
29 minutes ago
Unknown brainmandemoney posts a Correct Score tip on BATE Res. vs FK Ruh Brest Res.
31 minutes ago
Unknown brainmandemoney posts a Correct Score tip on BATE Res. vs FK Ruh Brest Res.
31 minutes ago
Unknown brainmandemoney posts a Correct Score tip on Macarthur vs Melbourne Victory
32 minutes ago
Unknown goalbuster posts a 1X2 tip on Paços de Ferreira vs Gil Vicente
40 minutes ago
Unknown goalbuster posts a 1X2 tip on Arka Gdynia vs Resovia Rzeszów
40 minutes ago
Unknown goalbuster posts a 1X2 tip on Kolding IF vs Hobro
40 minutes ago
Unknown goalbuster posts a 1X2 tip on Montana vs Slavia Sofia
40 minutes ago
Superior H2H Statistics
H2H Home Team Advantage
H2H Away Team Advantage
Top Football Clubs
Worst Football Clubs
Top Draw Teams
Teams Home Win 100%
Good Home Teams
Poor Away Teams
Platinum Membership Testimonial

Top Singles Tipsters
In-Form Tipsters
Out of Form Tipsters
Tipsters Competition
Tipsters Competition Review
Membership
Soccer Predictions
Soccer Tips
 

Be a fan of our Twitter and Facebook Page
Soccer Analysis
Arbitrage

Arbitrage Picks

Arbitrage is an effective way to make guaranteed profits without losing your money.

Soccer Statistics H2H

Soccer Statistics

Analyze soccer matches, inclusive of past results, head to head stats, today match fixtures, live soccer odds, players and team form.

Livescore

Livescore

Check the latest and fastest live score results for all football matches. Know who are the goalscorers, yellow card and red card offenders.

Soccer Bet Help
Pick a Country or Region

Get the listings of soccer leagues and competitions for each region, including past seasons results and football statistics.

Match Preview and News

Copyright © 2002-2020 SoccerPunter Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.