The headlines on the Marseille news stands last Friday morning had a similar theme.

Infuriating, said L’Equipe, the national sports daily.

Frustrating, screamed La Provence, which is - like The Argus - a local paper covering all aspects of life but had given over its first five pages, including an eye-catching front, to l’OM on a Thursday night.

The theme being that Olympique de Marseille let a great chance slip as they drew 2-2 against Albion.

That was fair enough from 2-0 up, but then Roberto De Zerbi felt it was a disappointing result for his own team.

De Zerbi was certainly persuaded the visitors would have won had they pulled a goal back by the break.

The man actually selling the newspapers from this particular kiosk in La Canebière was more philosophical than those who had written the words.

Looking at the front pages, he shrugged, shook his head and said: “It’s going to be hard over there.

“They are a good side. Strong. Fitter than us. The Chinese player on the wing is really good.”

And so a chat ensued about both team’s failings (defensive) and strengths (attacking) in the draw.

The friendly newsagent was put right on Kaoru Mitoma’s nationality but there was nothing to amend about his opinion of the player.

And then we moved on to the Stade Velodrome atmosphere.

If you want to talk to a local about their beloved l’OM, talk about the days of Waddle and Papin or mention the atmosphere.

It is a constant noise and enthusiasm which perhaps makes the team seem more dangerous, or better, than they really are.

So, yes, it was mentioned, rightly so, that the atmosphere for the Albion game was sensational.

“It’s Marseille,” said the friendly newsagent, with another shrug.

At St Charles station, a few Albion fans could be seen making their way out of the city.

One asked at the newsagents whether they sold Marseille fridge magnets and was successful in his search before boarding his TGV.

The French have a sign they put on level crossings which warns “un train peut en cacher un autre”.

One train can hide another.

That applies to Albion’s fixture list these days.

One massive test you can see coming your way against a footballing express train can take your attention away from another right behind it.

De Zerbi is keen not to be caught in that trap and it felt like Albion passed the “after the Lord Mayor’s Show” test against Liverpool last Sunday.

There will be similar such challenges on Sundays to come.

The second half performance in Marseille looks even better when you watch it back than it felt at the time, when thoughts were dominated by the need to score and get back on level terms.

If you see the second half now, knowing they will equalise, you can perhaps better appreciate the football Albion played.

It was one point gained and also two taken off Marseille.

That is something else we must get used to. In a four-team league, especially one as tightly contested as this, every game is a six-pointer.

So what else are we learning? That no game is as ‘easy’ as you might think.

But no hostile atmosphere is insurmountable.

Next we have home and away versus Ajax and it feels like these games will be pivotal to Albion’s hopes.

Ajax are having a terrible time in the league but have emerged with two draws in Europe.

The legendary name and kit are not necessarily anything to fear.

But nor should they be taken lightly because of shocking league results.

What travelling Albion fans will know is how to enjoy their away trip and also the potential inconveniences.

It feels like things will be just a bit more relaxed in Amsterdam than Marseille but there will still be the need to take care.

Local TV news in Marseille suggested the warnings of a hostile environment were alarmist and had offended the home club and city.

But it was easy to see why caution was exercised - even though it feels like the delay in fans leaving Stade Velodrome was very excessive.

In Amsterdam, it appears fans will be allowed to make their own way to and from the venue.

They will be kept in for “up to 45 minutes” after the match.

Dam Square will be the Albion focal point in the city and fans will hope for dry weather.

They are told to bear in mind Dutch laws on drinking outside in public places.

It feels like it will be a bit different to Marseille - but we will be wiser from those experiences.

And what of Marseille as the dust settled?

Well, life went on as normal outside the cafes and around the bars along the avenue leading from the stadium on a gorgeously warm Thursday night.

As the sun beat down mercilessly again next day, the city buzzed with activity and temperatures edged towards 30 degrees.

Around the city centre, Friday lunchtime meant outdoor tables were packed.

Be it classic French restaurants in tree/lined squares and avenues.

Or the North African establishments near the station with their plastic chairs and tables crammed on to narrow pavements - and equally tempting menus, not to mention prices.

Providing you’re not looking for peace and quiet, Marseille has a lot to offer and one hopes those visitors from England who wanted to got a taste of the city, despite the limitations and advisories in place.

Those who were at the game will remember the atmosphere long after annoyance at post-match delays has gone.

The Marseille noise from both ends was incessant. So much so that you almost forgot it was there.

Even when Albion scored, it barely missed a beat.

But there were times when the volume dipped just enough and Albion’s increased just enough that it was English voices we heard.

And that was some achievement for nearly 3,000 in that corner.

Both sets of supporters rose to the occasion and the stadium acoustics meant they received full value for their efforts.

And then, at the final whistle, something unexpected happened.

It went quiet. Really quiet.

If the home hordes were exhausted, deflated and struggling for voice, it was understandable.

But it was like someone turned the noise off and instead all we heard was from the corner away to our left.

Good Old Sussex By The Sea. From Withdean to Wembley.

The chant about Peter Ward, from the first Albion golden era.

We are Brighton, super Brighton from the south (maybe it was “from the north” on this occasion).

It had finally gone quiet around the rest of the stadium.

The locals were heading off for a Ricard or three in the bars close to the stadium.

And Albion’s appetite for their next Euro trips had been well and truly whetted.