Thursday, August 16, 2018

Salzburg first, history later for Garcia and Marseille

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 25 Apr 2018

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Marseille coach Rudi Garcia is aiming to make history in the Europa League this season, but acknowledges that his side must first give Red Bull Salzburg the respect they deserve.

The Ligue 1 side avoided heavyweights Atletico Madrid and Arsenal in the semi-finals, but they are faced with something of a surprise package in Salzburg, who have seen off Borussia Dortmund and Lazio already.

With that in mind, Garcia – who oversaw a draw and a defeat against Salzburg in the group stage – is not looking too far ahead, even if the prospect of reaching Marseille’s fifth European final in Lyon is an exciting one.

“If we can win [the first leg] without conceding a goal, that would be ideal,” he said ahead of the meeting at the Stade Velodrome. “But we must not forget that there will also be a return match.

“We hope that there will be three European matches for us this season. If that is the case, there will be two at home [in France] so that is a motivation.

“I’m just focused on the semi-final. We will see later if we can make history for the club. For now, there are two games to play against a very good Salzburg team.

“We have a strong history with European competition and that’s why we are motivated – Marseille and European football are special.”

Star man Florian Thauvin is also looking forward to the match, yet staying levelheaded.

“It’s a very important game – maybe the most important of my career, even though I’ve already played in an Under-20 World Cup final,” he said.

“It’s been 14 years since Marseille experienced this. We must remain focused and not overthink the match in our heads beforehand.”

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