At 35, Etienne Capoue is one of those who was present in 2021 during Villarreal’s victory in the Europa League, and also during the epic semi-finals of the Champions League the following year. With all this experience, the Frenchman led his teammates towards the unexpected comeback in this eighth return of C3 (3-1 final score, 3-5 overall). He was the first to get up to speed with and without the ball. In the OM camp, number 6 made Jonathan Clauss dance salsa, then he attempted his first strikes. In the 31st minute, he arrived launched into the area ready to take Kiko’s cross, his header deceived a vigilant Lopez until then. That’s it, operation “remontada” is launched. The former Téfécé did not stop there, and twice he did not come far from the double. At the break, the best player on the pitch is him.

Villarreal promised a rough tide to the Olympians, and they didn’t lie. The sinking of the Marseille defenses began from the start, and very quickly they were put head underwater by the Yellow Submarine. Caught in the Spanish waves, a player was needed who could right the helm of the Marseille ship. By pushing back a good number of balls, the Spanish goalkeeper relieved his defense. On the attempts of Marcelino’s men, but also when Clauss decided to give him extra work by shooting in the leg of an opposing attacker. Despite the 3 goals conceded, the man of qualification is very probably him. Until the end he boxed the crosses, since his defenders were not decided to head, and at the very end of the match at 3-0, he produced a superb horizontal to keep OM alive. Without him, the comeback would have taken place.

When there is a fire at home, Jean-Louis Gasset brings his top scorer into play at half-time to put out the flames. After a failed first attempt and a huge miss in a face-to-face encounter with Jorgensen, Aubameyang recovered very well at the end of the match. OM were on the verge of collapse, and on a harmless touch in the opposing camp, ‘PEA’ dropped his opponent before making his way towards the goal, and gave a ready goal to Jonathan Clauss who followed well. After 90 nightmarish minutes, the Olympians can finally breathe.


When you face Villarreal, a team experienced in the European Cup and which has already shown that it is capable of sensational revolts, like against Liverpool in 2022 (they led 2-0 before losing 3-2), you need to watch your back. Especially in the air sector, where they particularly excel. By multiplying the number of crosses, the Yellow Submarine increased its chances of scoring a goal in front of Marseille who are struggling in this area. Unable to put their heads together, they were completely overwhelmed and were content to let Pau Lopez take care of it. 2 of the three goals conceded came from crosses, it could have been much worse.

Since the arrival of Jean-Louis Gasset on the bench, his team has scored an impressive total of 18 goals in the 5 victories acquired. This Thursday evening at the Ceramica, Aubameyang and Harit started as substitutes, sure of having a fairly significant advantage. The offensive players lined up, Ndiaye and Sarr did not have the slightest opportunity during the half-time they were given. The only situation obtained, they wasted by procrastinating in the area. At the break, OM had 4 small strikes attempted by their midfielders, compared to 12 for Villarreal, a huge but revealing gap. Lost without their guide, Marseille found their scorer in the second half with the entry of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and that of Amine Harit. Here too it was not enough, as evidenced by the failure of the Gabonese. Fortunately a miracle happened in added time.