Rudi Garcia heaped praise on hat-trick hero Valere Germain after Marseille defeated KV Oostende 4-2 in their Europa League clash on Thursday night.
Germain opened the scoring in their Third qualifying round first leg tie, with his first goal coming on just two minutes.
Sebastien Siani levelled from the penalty spot on 26 minutes, while Morgan Sanson (32) and Germain (57) appeared to put the result beyond doubt.
Knowledge Musona pulled a second goal back for the Belgian side but Germain made sure of the result with his third goal of the game with 82 minutes played.
After the match, a delighted Garcia said: “We’re only at the half-way point; there is still a second leg to play. Tonight, it was important to win. We showed some good things, like our 21 shots on goal, many of which were on target.
“We could have scored more but conceded more as well. We let the Belgians play their game a bit too much and we have some things to work on, notably in terms of balance.
“But tonight, Valere [Germain] was surgical. It’s magnificent for his confidence; he couldn’t have dreamed of better for his first match at the Velodrome. It’s a great way to win the hearts of the fans. I knew it would be tough tonight but we will head to Belgium looking to play to our strengths.”
Oostende coach Yves Vanderhaeghe, meanwhile, added: “After ten tough minutes, we hit back well and got the penalty. Then, in the first half, we were too wasteful with the final ball.
“In certain moments, we mixed it with Marseille and I think that the 2-1 scoreline at the break, while a fair reflection, could more easily have been 2-2 rather than 3-1.
“We bounced back again though and it’s a shame we conceded the fourth goal. Still, I believe that anything is still possible. Before this match, people were giving us just a ten per cent chance of qualifying.
“Even though I would prefer to only be one goal behind, I think that qualification is still possible. But it will be tough.”