Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Rudi Garcia: Marseille missed injured Dimitri Payet in Europa League final

Rudi Garcia: Marseille missed injured Dimitri Payet in Europa League final

Two goals by Antonie Greizmann secured the victory for Diego Simeone's side, in what many believe could be his last game for the Wanda Metropolitano outfit.

The 34-year-old Torres, who is leaving Atletico at the end of the season, finally won a trophy with his beloved club.

That paved the way for Griezmann to take centre stage, Marseille failing to truly threaten again until the latter stages when substitute Konstantinos Mitroglou hit the post with a header.

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Marseille had a fine chance to take the lead early on through Valere Germain, but Garcia admits the best team won overall, even if he thought the scoreline was too harsh on his side.

However, the attack-minded French team had to pay for their own error.

Marseille's woeful defending contributed, as midfielder Zambo Anguissa failed to control a needlessly casual pass out from goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and the loose ball bounced straight to Gabi.

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Griezmann has scored 27 goals in all competitions this season, including a crucial counter away to Arsenal in the semi-finals. Marseille's hopes of staging a comeback against a famously resolute defence were dealt a further blow within minutes when Dimitri Payet, the former West Ham star, had to leave the field through what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Operating a rung below those of super-clubs, Rudi Garcia managed a band of talented, technically astute players who were proclaimed misfits elsewhere only to be allowed to dream on the French Riviera. He lifted up the trophy alongside Gabi on the award ceremony.

He had a beaming grin on his face as he walked alone towards the Atletico supporters, holding the trophy aloft with one hand. Maybe winning a first trophy alongside the teammates with whom he has suffered so much in the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals might make him decide to stay.

He said that he would love his star player, who had the ideal final preparation for World Cup duties with the French national side with this win, to stay and continue to develop with the side. "We lost two Champions League finals, one in the last minute and one on penalties". Subs: Juanfran (on for Vrsaljko, 45) 7, Thomas Partey (on for Correa, 88) N/A, Fernando Torres (on for Griezmann, 90) N/A.

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