Fans were still queueing to enter the stadium some 15 minutes after kick-off, with some ticket holders even allowed entry despite stewards not recognising their seat allocation.
England supporters who arrived at the Stade Velodrome an hour before kick-off were still waiting at the gates some 15 minutes into the match.
Tournament organisers were criticised for similar issues at the opening match, France’s victory over New Zealand in Paris on Friday night. There were also issues before Ireland’s win over Romania in Bordeaux earlier on Saturday.
But in Marseille a significant number of fans missed almost half of the first period due to the chaotic scenes at the stadium.
There was no consideration given to delaying kick-off despite the obvious empty seats and crushes of waiting ticket holders outside the ground.
The World Cup organising committee and World Rugby will come under fire from those disappointed supporters of both teams.
Delaying kick-off by 15 minutes would potentially have cleared the backlog of fans, and those who missed a sizeable chunk of the match will have reasonable cause to question whether any kind of refund should be offered.
In a statement to address the delays, World Rugby said: “We are aware of delays experienced by fans entering Stade de Marseille for the Rugby World Cup 2023 Pool D match between England and Argentina this evening.
“While fans were able to take their seats, fan experience is paramount, and we are working with all stakeholders to establish the facts and implement measures to prevent such delays for the remaining Rugby World Cup 2023 matches at the venue.”