Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put in his best performance for OM in the 3rd preliminary round second leg of the Champions League against Panathinaikos at the Velodrome on Tuesday. Despite his brace, however, he watched helplessly as Les Olympiens were eliminated.
It was a dream start to the evening. Les Marseillais titillated the stars. Led by a resurrected Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, OM quickly made up ground on Panathinaikos, who had beaten them 1-0 in the first leg in Greece. The Gabonese striker, who had been languishing since arriving on the Cannebière from Chelsea Blues, took advantage of a fine through ball from Ismaila Sarr to show that he still had the sticks and a small dose of lucidity to outwit the opposing defenders, dribble past the goalkeeper and send the ball into the back of the net. 1-0 to OM in the 2nd minute. The Gabonese Panther didn't stop there. His breakaway runs and one-touch passes were poison for the Greeks.
Two goals and "almost" an assist
Just before half-time, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang set the Vélodrome alight with a goal that had been waiting to be scored. The Gabonese striker finished off a low cross from Jonathan Clauss. 2-0 up, OM went into the break with qualification in their pocket. On the stroke of half-time, Aubame thought he had put his team in the clear with a marvellous decisive pass to Ismaila Sarr. But the Senegalese was caught out by VAR. The goal was disallowed due to the winger's offside position. After several blows, PEA was forced off the field by Marcelinho.An exit that pushed Marseille back a notch. A withdrawal that would prove fatal in the dying seconds of the game. Guendouzi was booked for a handball in the box. Pana did not miss the chance to equalize on aggregate (2-2). The Greeks held out in extra time and went on to win the shoot-out 5-2.
"A great sadness, of course".
OM thus take the door as soon as they enter the competition and Aubameyang, who could have been the man of the evening, was understandably depressed."A great sadness, of course. When you see all the effort the team put in, you feel it's undeserved for them. Everyone fought hard to win tonight, but unfortunately it didn't happen. So there's bound to be a lot of sadness, because we played a good game and lived up to the expectations of the crowd. Then we get that silly goal in the last minute... It hurts, but now we have to think about what comes next. The next step is Ligue 1 and the Europa League. The Gabonese showed his detractors that he's not quite finished yet.