The starting line-up showed two changes from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. Luca Pellegrini missed out due to injury so Makoto Hasebe made his first start of the season as Oliver Glasner reverted to a back three, while Jesper Lindström came back into the attack in place of Rafael Borré.
Few chances in hard-fought first half
Eintracht made a bright start at the Stade de Marseille and had the first half-chance in the fifth minute, when Randal Kolo Muani headed over from Lindström’s corner. Marseille then began to dominate possession but aside from Alexis Sanchez’s shot into the side netting in the 12th minute, the home side struggled to break down the gritty Eintracht defence.
As it looked like the first half would end goalless, the Eagles broke the deadlock with just two minutes left. Marseille failed to deal with a long ball from Hasebe and it came to Kolo Muani, whose pass into the box was diverted into the path of Lindström, and he swept it in to score the club’s first ever Champions League goal.
Eagles withstand pressure
Eintracht didn’t sit back after the break and Lindström went close to getting a second in the 54th minute. Again the ball came to him via a Marseille boot, but this time his fierce volley from a tight angle was tipped onto the bar by goalkeeper Pau López. The hosts brought on an almost completely new attack on the hour mark and that immediately gave them fresh impetus. One of those substitutes, Luis Suárez, was denied by Kevin Trapp just after coming on, and the Eintracht keeper then made an excellent block from Valentin Rongier’s shot.
The pressure from OM was increasing but Eintracht still looked for their opportunities to score a second on the counter. Kolo Muani had a good chance to do so in the 75th minute when he beat his man in the penalty area only to see his shot blocked by Pau López. The striker then set up Kamada who did find the net, but the video assistant ruled that he was a fraction offside. It didn’t matter, though, as the Eagles held on through six minutes of added time to claim their first Champions League victory in only their second match, which leaves them third in Group D.
Summary: Test of character
In a hostile atmosphere and against quality opponents, Eintracht showed that they can mix it in Europe’s premier club competition. They defended with passion as a team, always looked a threat in attack and could have won by more.
Trapp – Tuta, Hasebe, Ndicka – Jakic (Chandler 79’), Kamada (Ebimbe 88’), Sow, Knauff – Lindström (Borré 79’), Götze (Rode 71’) – Kolo Muani (Alario 88’)
0-1 Lindström (43’)