Olympians fall from grace as Lindstrøm laps it up

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Jesper Lindstrøm’s first-half strike gave Eintracht Frankfurt a fourth consecutive success on hostile turf in European competitions, as the Eagles recorded a maiden UEFA Champions League (UCL) win with a 1-0 victory over Marseille that left Igor Tudor’s side winless and goalless in their first two Group D matches.

With the Stade Vélodrome welcoming back UCL football for the first time since December 2020, an electric atmosphere had Marseille fired up. In the opening minutes, Dimitri Payet teed up Alexis Sánchez inside the penalty area, but the striker lashed his first-time effort into the side netting. That might have set the tone for a one-sided first half, but Frankfurt began to assert themselves after the Olympians’ initial surge and contained their hosts well.

Last season’s UEFA Europa League winners soon got their first major chance, as Randal Kolo Muani showed his threat on the counter-attack, beating two defenders and firing a long-range shot at Pau López. Marseille’s former composure seemed to dissipate from that moment, and Frankfurt took full advantage, with a period of possession eventually seeing a forward pass that Jordan Veretout misjudged, and Jesper Lindstrøm raced into the area to fire under López, giving Frankfurt their maiden UCL goal and a priceless lead.

Marseille hoped to rediscover the determination that led to a 2-1 comeback win against Lille in Ligue 1 last time out, but still failed to break down the visitors. Instead, Frankfurt pushed for a second, and Lindstrøm’s volley from a tight angle crashed against the crossbar. Sensing a ninth home UCL defeat in 11 at the Stade Vélodrome, Marseille went forward in desperation for the equaliser and Valentin Rongier’s close-range strike was saved by Kevin Trapp.

Shortly after, Daichi Kamada almost sprung the offside trap and struck past López, only for the goal to be ruled out by VAR for offside. Marseille threw everything at Frankfurt late on, but the Olympians’ unspectacular return to the UCL continued. In contrast, the good times continue to roll on the road for Oliver Glasner’s Frankfurt, who have won ten of their last 14 away games in Europe, rendering last week’s UCL baptism of fire against Sporting Lisbon nothing more than a foul memory.

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