Marseille boss admits: The best team won

‘We can be proud’ says Unai Emery after Arsenal reach Europa League last eight

Rudi Garcia acknowledged that Atletico Madrid were the better side on the night following Marseille’s 3-0 Europa League final loss in Lyon on Wednesday.

A brace from Antoine Griezmann and a late goal from Gabi sealed a 3-0 win for the Spaniards.

The French side though had suffered an early loss with an hamstring injury to playmaker Dimitri Payet, to make their job that much more difficult.

After the game, a disappointed Garcia said: “The score, I think, is too severe. The best team has won, the one with the most experience, it is a great team. We will try again next year.

“We found the first serious position in the match, we went to the opponent’s level, but we couldn’t spread it in 90 minutes.

“I think we made Marseille fans proud and got a large part of the French public behind us. I’m proud of my players because of that.”

Having been a doubt for the tie, Payet lasted just 31 minutes before being forced off.

Garcia added: “I chose to start Dimitri, one of our best players. We also missed him from set-pieces as Atletico, if they do ever concede, sometimes concede from set-pieces.

“We hoped that he’d be at 100 per cent and we gave him a fitness test this morning. He was worried about playing and whether he’d be able to kick the ball hard.

“He didn’t aggravate the injury today, he just wasn’t fully fit. In matches like this, you have to take risks.

“If we had played with everyone at 100 per cent, we could have been to the maximum and played with you before this monster.”

Payet now faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup with France manager Didier Deschamps set to announce his squad on Thursday.

Payet was excellent for France at Euro 2016 but has not played for his national team since 10 October.