La Marseillaise

If you happen to be a Liverpool supporter, then I’ve got good news for you. Olympique de Marseille, who are drawn against them in the group stages of this year’s European Cup, are lousy this year. Rotten. And if you want any further proof of this, consider that Toulouse, who Liverpool brushed aside in the last round of that competition without even breaking into a sweat, beat them 2-1 at the Stade Velodrome last Saturday. Not that I was in the ground, of course. A fatal miscalculation meant that I ended up watching it in a bar in the centre of the city though, given the result of the match, I was somewhat relieved that we were some way away from the stadium. It was my own stupid fault, really. I had the order ready, my credit card out, and the mouse pointer was hovering over the button marked “purchase”. Something, however, stopped me, and by the time we actually got to Marseille, tickets for the match had sold out. Something to do with the end of summer and the Rugby World Cup, apparently. I made a couple of discreet enquiries at ticket offices in the town centre and even tried online again, but no dice. I had, somewhat simplistically, arrived at the conclusion that, because Le Velodrome holds 60,000 people and OM’s average home crowd is seldom over...

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