01 November 1897
One victory and two defeats is the sum of Juventus’ record against Olympique Marseille. As the two sides prepare to face each other this evening in the South of France, the Bianconeri will be looking to level up the scores at two wins apiece.
The most decorated clubs of France and Italy have squared off on just three occasions, once in friendly competition on 23 August 1994 and in a European Cup first round double header in September 1972. Later that year, Juventus would go all the way to the Belgrade final before falling at the last hurdle at the hands of Johan Cruyff’s Ajax.
1972/73 European Cup: Juve 3-1 l'OM
Drawn together in the first round of the 1972/73 European Cup, Juventus and Marseille faced each other for the very first time on September 13 1972. The French side earned a slender home advantage in Lyon thanks to Sandro Salvadore’s unfortunate own goal just after half-time.
Two weeks later in Turin, the Bianconeri set about overturning the first leg deficit and they did so in style. With four minutes on the clock, Roberto Bettega rose highest to head the Old Lady into the lead, cancelling out the visitors’ first leg advantage.
Good work from Helmut Haller doubled their lead half an hour later; bringing a wayward headed clearance under control on the right edge of the penalty area, the German feinted and drove to the byline to pick out Bettega once more who made no mistake from close range.
The tie was all but over by half time. A loose ball just inside the Marseille half, a chip over the defence and Haller was away, carrying the ball 30 yards before finishing emphatically past goalkeeper Georges Carnus to seal a 3-1 aggregate win for Juve.
1994 friendly: l'OM 2-0 Juve
It was not until 22 years later that the two sides crossed paths once more. The pre-season friendly on 23 August at the Stade Velodrome was decided that day by a brace from Irishman Tony Cascarino, the first a curled finish from just inside the box, the second, a towering header from the penalty spot.
The defeat did little to hinder the summer preparations of Marcello Lippi’s men though as the Bianconeri went on to clinch a domestic double the following May, winning the Serie A title and the Coppa Italia, beating rivals Parma 3-0 over two legs.
With an important season ahead for two new look outfits, a win this evening will go a long way to ensuring they start their respective campaigns in the best way possible.