Champions League - Marseille qualify after thriller

Tue, 06 Dec 21:59:00 2011

Marseille qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League in amazing fashion as they beat Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in a thrilling Group F match at Signal Iduna Park.

Olympique Marseille's Alou Diarra tackles Borussia Dortmund's Ilkay Guendogan (R) during their Group F Champions League soccer match in Dortmund - 0

Two goals in the last eight minutes put the French side through at Olympiacos's expense in a dramatic encounter.

Substitute Mathieu Valbuena scored a stunning 86th minute winner after Andre Ayew and Loic Remy had helped the French side recover from a two-goal deficit.

Dortmund had dominated the first half and strolled into a two-goal lead thanks to a 22nd minute Jakub Blaszczykowski strike, and a Mats Hummels penalty.

But Remy's goal just before the half breathed new life into Didier Deschamps's team, allowing Ayew and then Valbuena to send the French fans into raptures.

The Germans were in total control in the first half, and at one stage looked like they would get the four goal win that they needed to overtake the French side.

They deservedly took the lead after 22 minutes. A high ball into the area was not dealt with by the Marseille defence as they allowed it to drop to Lewandowski.

The Polish striker fortunately miss controlled it straight into the path of Blaszczykowski, who swivelled and smashed it past Steve Mandanda in the Marseille goal.

Two minutes later Lucas Barrios had the chance to make it 2-0. But the Paraguyan shot into the side netting when one on one with Mandanda.

However, it was 2-0 just seven minutes later as Hummels converted from the penalty spot.

Following a goal mouth scramble, a high ball fell to Sebastian Kehl, who looked set to nod home, before he received a boot to the face by Stephane M'bia.

Referee Howard Webb instantly and correctly pointed to the spot. Hummels was made to wait three minutes as Kehl was stretchered off, but he coolly stepped up to send Mandana the wrong way.

Although the German side continued to press and create chances, it was the French side who stunned the home crowd to pull a goal back just before half time. Morgan Amalfitano found space down the Dortmund right, and whipped in an outswinging ball, which Loic Remy stooped to deftly head past Roman Weidenfeller. It was the only chance Marseille had created in the entire first half.

The second half was far more of a disjointed affair, as Dortmund playmaker Mario Goetze failed to emerge from the tunnel at half time.

But just as it looked like both sides were heading out of the champions League, Ayew rose unmarked to head home a Bruno Cheyrou corner and give the French side hope.

Just two minutes later, substitute Valbuena cut in from the left and unleashed an unstoppable curling right footed 25 yard shot into the top right hand corner.

It was hardly what Deschamps side deserved, in what was a poor overall performance.

Ayew had time to almost make it 4-2 but his drive was well saved by Weidenfeller, as Les Phocéens held on with ease to complete an astonishing comeback.

Pete Odgers / Eurosport

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