With the winners being guaranteed entry into next season’s Champions League, the reputation of the Europa League has significantly improved in recent years.
While the main event might be taking place in Kiev on May 26, Lyon was the destination of the first European final between Marseille and Atletico Madrid.
Both sets of fans are renowned for their incredible atmosphere and that’s exactly what we got as the game got underway.
However, despite the noise, we saw one of the most bizarre starts to a European final ever.
Marseille had kick-off in the Parc Olympique Lyonnais and everyone probably expected them to get a feel of the ball and settle into this big occasion.
However, instead, they decided to boot the ball into touch for an Atletico throw with no attempt to keep possession.
It was extremely bizarre.
WATCH: MARSEILLE'S STRANGE KICK-OFF
Take a look:
FOOTBALL FANS REACT
And football fans couldn’t quite believe what they were watching. Here’s how they reacted on Twitter:
However, football writer Tom Williams attempted to explain Marseille’s actions. He claims it’s something the French side always do.
“BT commentators baffled by Marseille putting the ball straight into touch from kick-off. They’ve done that in every game this season,” he wrote.
If so, that’s a rather strange tactic.
The kick wasn’t even near the corner flag so it wasn’t as though Marseille could press Atleti high up the pitch and win the ball back.
Surely keeping possession early on would be far more beneficial?
Anyway, they’ve obviously reached the final using those tactics for kick-off so who are we to criticise them?
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