Frankfurt wins 1-0 at Marseille in CL game hit by disorder
By JEROME PUGMIRE
MARSEILLE, France (AP) Careless defending cost Marseille again in the Champions League as it lost 1-0 at home to Europa League winner Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday.
Coach Igor Tudor's side is unbeaten in the French league but lacks a cutting edge at this level. Marseille looked organized and untroubled, just like last week against Tottenham, but fell behind in the 43rd minute after a defensive error allowed attacking midfielder Jesper Lindstrom to score.
Japan midfielder Daichi Kamada thought he had made it 2-0 in the 79th but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Tottenham's 2-0 loss at Sporting in the other Group D game means Sporting takes charge with six points, having beaten Frankfurt 3-0 last week in Germany.
Tottenham and Frankfurt have three points, with Spurs in second place on goal difference and Marseille last.
It was a hostile atmosphere at Stade Velodrome, where riot police intervened before kickoff and late on to quell disorder as opposing fans threw flares and fireworks at each other. A large-scale police operation had prevented fan violence before the game, which was classified as very high risk.
Frankfurt put out a statement distancing itself from an alleged Nazi salute by a fan captured on video before the game.
"Eintracht Frankfurt stands for tolerance and diversity and takes a clear stance in the fight against racism, antisemitism and discrimination," Frankfurt's statement read. "The club distances itself clearly from the isolated incident before the UEFA Champions League game ... where one person performed a gesture understood to be a `Hitler salute.' Antisemitic ideas are in stark contrast to the unequivocal and unshakable values of the club and its roots."
Frankfurt added that the fan "emphatically rejects the accusation of antisemitic intentions" and that the club will "thoroughly review this incident."
After veteran Marseille forward Alexis Sanchez just failed to head home a cross, Frankfurt's rapid attack down the right prompted an error from home midfielder Valentin Rongier.
He failed to clear the ball properly and Lindstrom drove it home past goalkeeper Pau Lopez, who tipped the lively Lindstrom's angled shot onto the crossbar early in the second half.
With one hour played, Turkey winger Cengiz Under came on for playmaker Dimitri Payet and set up right back Jonathan Clauss, who shot straight at former Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.
Trapp then stopped a tame effort from Rongier in a good spell for Marseille that saw the unmarked forward Luis Suarez fluff his shot in front of goal with 20 minutes left.
With the game opening up, Lopez did well to deny Frankfurt forward Randal Kolo Muani with his feet and batted away a strike from Kamada, shortly after his disallowed goal.
Marseille, the 1993 champion and only French side to win the Champions League, lost 2-0 at Tottenham last week.
Sporting substitutes Paulinho and Arthur Gomes scored late goals on Tuesday to hand Spurs its first loss of the season.
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Updated September 13, 2022