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Marseille miracle?

OM ready for ‘massive, powerful machine’ FCB

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Despite a crippling strike by ground staff at Munich airport last Tuesday when Bayern flew to Marseille for the Champions League quarter-final first leg, the stars were spared a tedious wait and a late arrival, as the squad plane in fact took off on time. Olympique Marseille were not so lucky on their way to the return leg. The French party was due in Munich at midday on Monday, but actually didn't arrive until 5.30 pm.

It was all due to a strike by air traffic controllers. “It could have gone better," acknowledged coach Didier Deschamps at the obligatory pre-match press conference. Defender César Azpilicueta filled in a few details: “We arrived early at the airport and then just waited around. Our departure time kept being put back."

Deschamps is refusing to allow the disrupted journey to be used as any kind of excuse by his players, especially as his men had no league fixture at the weekend: OM's scheduled meeting with Ligue 1 leaders Montpellier was postponed until April 11, allowing the French side to focus fully on the Bayern clash.