Who Are They? Accrington Stanley Stun Andre Villas-Boas’ Marseille 2-1 in Pre-Season Friendly

You can never read too much into pre-season friendly results, but Accrington Stanley will always be able to say that they beat a former Champions League winner after their recent 2-1 over Marseille. League One ​Accrington may have been fearing the worst when they lined up against Marseille on Thursday evening – a team which featured the likes of Dimitri Payet, Luis Gustavo and World Cup winner Florian Thauvin. However, Marseille, who were being led out by Andre Villas-Boas for the first time since he took over the reins of the Ligue 1 outfit, were immediately stunned by their lower league hosts as Sean McConville headed home after 28 minutes. McConville was involved against shortly after, winning a penalty which was then converted by Offrande Zanzala. Marseille managed to pull a goal back late on through Thauvin, but it merely proved to be a consolation as Accrington held on to secure a famous victory. Speaking after the game, Accrington boss John Coleman was quick to play down the significance of the result, but he added that he always expects his side to perform to the best of their ability – regardless of the opposition. “Let’s get it straight, Marseille have used this as a training exercise and to a certain extent so are we,” Coleman said, as per the ​Lancashire Telegraph. “Our lads have got a lot of fitness out of it. But I sat the players down on the first day of pre-season and told them from now until May whether it’s a game of five-a-side, a game of head tennis, a one-on-one, a challenge in training – do it to win. “Without that you shouldn’t be playing football – everything you do, do to win.”

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