Olympique Marseille and Manchester United played out a goalless draw in the Champions League Round of 16 tonight. Marseille's Stade Velodrome was the venue for a very tight affair which produced few shots on goal and set things up for a tight second leg in Manchester on March 15.
Venue: Stade Velodrome, Marseille Crowd: 58,000 Referee: Felix Brych Yellow cards:OM - nil MU - nil
The opening 20 minutes did not give much in the way of goalscoring chances apart from Darren Fletcher's early strike which was brilliantly stopped by Steve Mandanda.
United were doing all they could to keep the home fans quiet by knocking the ball around at will as both defences played a major part in quelling the opposition attack.
With no clear-cut chances for the remainder of the half, the two sides had to settle for a scoreless opening 45 minutes.
Early in the second half, Marseille were getting well on top and probably should have scored as they really stepped things up around the hour-mark.
The Marseillais came back into full voice as their team started to improve but they needed defender Souleymane Diawara to intervene when Dimitar Berbatov found space and was able to get a shot off in the area.
United began to chase a result as the match progressed but were unable to pierce a solid OM defence as referee Felix Brych blew the whistle to end a dour display from two teams who are hopefully prepared to go after goals in the return bout.
Marseille Steve Mandanda (gk), Gabriel Heinze, Rod Fanni, Souleymane Diawara, Lucho Gonzalez, Stephane M'Bia, Edouard Cisse (Cheyrou 70'), Charles Kabore, Loic Remy (Valbuena 79'), Brandao, Andre Ayew
Subs - Elinton Andrade (gk), Benoit Cheyrou (70'), Mathieu Valbuena (79')
Man Utd Edwin van der Sar (gk), John O'Shea, Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Nani, Darron Gibson (Scholes 73'), Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov