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UEFA Champions League
6 November 2013
• Stadio San Paolo, Napoli
Referee: S. Karasev
• Attendance: 39148
G. İnler 22'
G. Higuaín 24', 75'
A. Ayew 10'
F. Thauvin 64'
Full-time at San Paolo -and for all of Marseille's attacking endeavour, they go out of the Champions League in their 100th game in the competition. Napoli travel to Dortmund next, as Marseille visit London for a game against group leaders Arsenal. Until next time, good evening!
90' + 3'
FT: Napoli 3-2 Marseille - an enthralling game comes to an end. Napoli join Arsenal on nine points, and Marseille are OUT of the Champions League at the first hurdle.
90' + 1'
Into stoppage time in Naples, and it's likely to be a procession. Inler concedes a free-kick for a foul on Gignac.
SUBSTITUTION - NapolI: Valon Behrami is on for Blerim Dzemaili.
ARMERO!! The Colombian breezes past Florian Thauvin, with no Abdallah present. Clear chance, as he waits for Higuain and co to arrive. but he instead blasts wide.
PAYET! What a strike, and he could've made a name for himself there. A great build-up from Florian Thauvin, who has been outstanding tonight. But Payet's strike is just wide.
Free-kick to Marseille after Albiol upends Ayew. It's in a dangerous position, with Gignac to take - but the French international blasts against the wall.
INSIGNE!! What a strike, and it's OFF THE POST! Blistering counter from the hosts here. Inler out wide, and back into Insigne, who turns his marker and powers against the woodwork!
SUBSTITUTION - Napoli: Lorenzo Insigne is on for Dries Mertens.
SUBSTITUTION - Marseille; Mario Lemina comes on for Alaixys Romao.
Andre Ayew recovers from his malaise to win a corner for OM. Holds off Armero, and ploughs his way into the box. His strike deflects away for a corner.
Romao booked for a dangerous tackle on Dzemaili. The second OM booking after Dimitri Payet. Less than 10 minutes to go here, and Marseille are on the brink.
Yellow Card A. Romao
CALLEJON! Over the bar. Napoli going for the jugular once more. It's been an enthralling encounter from both sides. Napoli being made to work for this as we enter the late stages.
Yellow Card Dimitri Payet
Napoli again take the lead once more, but can they hold on this time? Marseille's defensive problems clear once again. Exacerbated this time. The defensive high-line is helping no-one.
Assist Dries Mertens
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
GOAL! NAPOLI 3-2 MARSEILLE - HIGUAIN!! And the pendulum swings in Napoli's favour once more. A fantsatic delivery from Mertens towards Higuain, and he breaks the offside trap to tap into the net.
Napoli threaten, with a quick attacking move. Callejon fed into space by Dzemaili, and Jeremy Morel - the much-maligned OM defender produces a great defensive block to deny the winger.
It's the first time since December 2011 that OM have scored more than once in a Champions League game. That night, against Dortmund, they came from 2-1 down at the break to win 3-2. Can it happen here?
And it's Marseille who break free after a defensive mishap. Gignac clear, but Fernandez tracks back and ultimately wins a foul under the eyes of the referee. Poor shout there.
And again, the dynamics of Group F change. With Napoli licking their lips over top spot, they now only have seven points, though still remain in the top two.
Maggio with a foul on Payet, and Marseille have a free-kick - which is drilled into the arms of Pepe Reina. Coach Elie Baup is off his seat, screaming instructions for his OM players.
SUBSTITUTION - Marseille: Andre Pierre Gignac comes on for Jordan Ayew.The Ghanaian doesn't look too pleased really.
SUBSTITUTION - Napoli: Goran Pandev is off for Marek Hamsik.
And it's all square here again. Out of the blue, Florian Thauvin has equalised for OM, who have been rather static for the last 20 minutes. Marseille's hopes not yet extinguished!
Assist Dimitri Payet
Goal Florian Thauvin
GOAL! NAPOLI 2-2 MARSEILLE - FLORIAN THAUVIN!! Great equaliser for OM.Fantastic delivery from Romao, and Thauvin taps it in at the far post, evading his marker.
Corner to Napoli once more, which is equally unsuccessful. Over in Germany, Arsenal have taken a 1-0 lead against Borussia Dortmund. It stands Arsenal and Napoli on 9, Dortmund 6, OM 0.
Past the hour mark, and Napoli have a corner here. Great attacking build-up from the Partenopei as Morel is forced to head behind after a threatening Armero cross.
PAYET!! Marseille again move into a threatening position out wide as Payet picks up the ball, tees himself up, but like Thauvin, drags his shot horribly wide.
Lorenzo Insigne is warming up on the touchline as Napoli move closer to bringing him on. Meanwhile, the tempo has dropped significantly in the last few minutes. Less intensity.
SUBSTITUTION - Marseille: Mathieu Valbuena off for Dimitri Payet. Weird one that, but it appears that Payet will be playing off Jordan Ayew here.
AYEW! Well over the bar. And still Marseille stutter and splutter up front. Ayew picks up the ball, holds off Maggio but strikes well over the bar. Considerably poor that one.
THAUVIN!! Great attempt, and it's slammed into the side netting. The U20 World Cup winner has looked encouraging so far in the second half, firing powerfully from a poor angle - just wide!
Napoli controlling the ball ever so easily in the midfield, as Higuain breaks the offside trap and attempts to challenge Mandanda, who hurriedly gets the ball away. OM defensively suspect once more too.
THAUVIN!! Great run down the middle as it opened up for him. Jordan Ayew further ahead, but Thauvin opts for the strike, and hits it horribly wide. Poor decision making.
Marseille venturing forward with conviction, some neat touches between Florian Thauvin and Mathieu Valbuena which breaks down after an ill-advised strike from distance. Blocked by Albiol.
UNDERWAY IN NAPLES! What can Marseille do here to turn it around? We'll soon find out, OM attacking from left to right in this half.
The sides are out for the second half. 45 minutes to save the Champions League dream. And Napoli 45 minutes away from securing top spot.
Stat: L'OM have conceded two goals or more in each of their last seven Champions League games. Meanwhile, Gonzalo Higuain has his first goal in nine attempts against a Ligue 1 side.
HT: NAP 2-1 OM: Elie Baup's side have 45 minutes to save their Champions League dream. The Ligue 1 giants enjoyed a brilliant 20 minutes, but their defensive ineptitude has reared its ugly head once more. So easy for Napoli to exploit the huge pockets of space in the defence.
HT at San Paolo, and Napoli lead Marseille 2-1. It was a half that promised so much for OM, but after a superb equaliser from Gokhan Inler, the Italians stepped up and took the lead through a brilliant Higuain volley. Marseille have offered little since.
HALF-TIME: Napoli 2-1 Olympique de Marseille.
Goran Pandev, who hasn't had the best half so far, is penalised for a foul on Alaixys Romao. Edging towards half-time.
OM still struggling to drag back an equaliser here, with a stuttering first half performance on the whole. Ayew slips as he attempts to strike the ball, which is carried on by Reina.
Jordan Ayew has the ball in the net here, but it's ruled out for a foul. Albiol is beaten to it, barged out of the way by the Ghanaian who turns and strikes into the bottom corner. Chalked off.
HIGUAIN! Offside. The corner from Mertens causes another defensive headache for L'OM here. Higuain steals in and hits the side-netting before being pegged back.
Good tackle from N'Koulou there as Callejon once more attempts to prevail against the Cameroon international, who clears behind for a corner.
Elie Baup's side are struggling for answers here, with Napoli comfortably controlling the ball in midfield, and aiming to exploit the huge defensive line that Marseille operate.
JORDAN AYEW! Great run and effort from the younger Ayew. Picks up the ball deep and races at Fernandez and Armero. Gets a bit of space to work with and strikes at Reina, who makes a good save.
Napoli start confidently from the back as Fernandez's lofted ball towards Pandev is cut out. Marseille regain the ball and attack at full strength. Four players up here.
Yellow Card Federico Fernández
Cheyrou tees up Morel, who attempts to tussle with Callejon and loses out, but the referee waves play on. Fernandez upends Ayew, and is handed the first booking of the game tonight.
20 years ago, Marseille were crowned European champions with a win over Italian side Milan, and tonight, they could be the first team out of the group stages with defeat to an Italian side.
Valbuena is furious with the referee here after he is unfairly targeted once more. Half an hour gone in Naples, and it's the hosts who lead 2-1.
HIGUAIN! OH he is offside! What a waste. The OM defensive line is so high up that the Argentine virtually has a whole half to himself. He is furious as the referee waves him offside.
Marseille's hopes are dashed once more. They have been unimaginative and uninspiring in the minutes since. What can the side do here to stem the attacking tide?
Well, don't we have a game on our hands? A stunning turnaround from Napoli, and the San Paolo is bouncing. The group dynamic has changed, and as it stands, Napoli go top!
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
GOAL! Napoli 2-1 Marseille - HIGUAIN! Stellar turnaround from Napoli, who expose Marseille's defensive woes there. Valbuena wants a free-kick for a foul, but play goes on. Cross into the box, headed down towards Higuain who volleys past Mandanda.
Goal Gökhan Inler
GOAL! Napoli 1-1 Marseille - WHAT A GOAL FROM GOKHAN INLER! What a stunning volley there. Initial corner headed towards and saved by Mandanda, before Inler gets a foot from distance to strike a sumptuous ball into the bottom corner.
Well, they can win a corner for starters. Great run down the wing from Maggio, whose speculative cross is turned behind by N'Koulou. Mertens to take here.
Strong performance from Elie Baup's men who are belying their recent woeful run of form. Frustrating Napoli, especially in the middle and up front. What can the hosts do here?
Valbuena highlights his array of dribbling skills as he draws in Christian Maggio on the wing. The right-back is struggling against the OM talisman, as he clears behind for a throw-in.
Corner to Marseille, to be taken by Mathieu Valbuena. It's an inswinger, with a great deal of power behind it, and it's an easy take for Pepe Reina. Only three white shirts in the middle there.
Great tackle from N'Koulou, who is penalised by the referee after attempting to challenge Gokhan Inler, with the Swiss midfielder falling to ground. Marseille have improved since taking the lead.
Close enough for Gonzalo Higuain who is teed up by Jose Callejon. The ball takes an awkward bounce and lands in the arms of Steve Mandanda. 14 minutes gone in Naples, and Marseille lead 1-0.
Mertens has an effort on goal, which is simple enough for OM captain Steve Mandanda. It's a big goal for Marseille, but an even bigger one for Dortmund or Arsenal, who are 0-0 at the Westfalenstadion.
And immediately, the fouls start totting up there with Ayew and Romao reprimanded for a foul on Pandev and Inler. Napoli will not let that setback perturb them, as they venture forward.
A brilliant effort from Andre Ayew there, one which silences the San Paolo. Marseille are ahead for the first time in the Champions League this season.
Assist Florian Thauvin
Goal A. Ayew
GOAL! Napoli 0-1 Marseille - ANDRE AYEW!! The Ghana international opens the scoring against the run of play here. A stunning delivery from Florian Thauvin, as Ayew heads in past Pepe Reina. A stunner!
Corner to Marseille, can they make a sustained impact in their first venture at the other end? Florian Thauvin to take.
Already some sort of defensive pressure exerted on the French giants with Nicolas N'Koulou and Souleymane Diawara called into early action. The visitors have made a number of defensive howlers in their previous games..
MERTENS! That was a superb chance. Fantastic attacking link-up play from the Italians. Callejon the architect, towards Mertens, inside the area, who drags his right-footed effort just wide. Whistles past the post in fact. Marseille survive!
Abdallah, who makes his full CL debut in place of the injured Rod Fanni, makes good progress down the wing. Linking up with Florian Thauvin, he hesitates on the ball, with his cross easy for Pepe Reina.
Callejon offside, after a nice bit of possession from the hosts. Maggio afforded possession on the right, tussling up against Jeremy Morel, but the hosts cannot test the OM defence just yet.
Callejon has been the early threat so far, with the former Madrid winger firing a half volley up against Morel who blocks away the attempt. Marseille advance with the ball.
KICK-OFF: Marseille get us going this evening in what is a crucial Champions League game for both sides. And immediately, Jose Callejon is upended by Andre Ayew.
Tonight's referee is Russian Sergei Karasev
The sides are out to a thunderous applause at the San Paolo. Not a full house tonight, with any of the lower tiers sparsely populated.
TEAM NEWS - NAPOLI: Rafa Benitez has named Marek Hamsik and Lorenzo Insigne on the bench, as Goran Pandev and Blerim Dzemaili make the starting 11.
TEAM NEWS - MARSEILLE : Andre Pierre Gignac drops to the bench as Elie Baup surprisingly names Jordan Ayew up front. Brother Andre returns after domestic suspension, and starlet Florian Thauvin is preferred to Dimitri Payet. Kassim Abdallah replaces the injured Rod Fanni at right back.
OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE: Mandanda, Abdallah, N'Koulou, Morel, Diawara, Cheyrou, Romao, Valbuena, Ande Ayew, Jordan Ayew, Thauvin. SUBS: Samba, Mendy, Lemina, Payet, Imbula, Gignac, Khalifa.
NAPOLI: Reina, Maggio, Fernandez, Armero, Albiol, Callejon, Dzemaili, Inler, Higuain, Mertens, Pandev. SUBS: Rafael Cabral, Uvini, Cannavaro, Hamsik, Behrami, Insigne, Zapata.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Victory for Napoli would put them in the driving seat to qualify for the last 16. The Partenopei will go top if the other game in tonight's group ends in a draw. They travel to Dortmund next, whilst Marseille visit the Emirates.
Marseille and Napoli have more in common than you think, both on and off the field in terms of fandoms, cultural pull and the general atmosphere of both stadiums. Interestingly, neither had met in competition before their meeting on matchday three.
Nevertheless, the Ligue 1 giants can still qualify, if only mathematically, rather than realistically. Only Newcastle United in 2002-03 have qualified for the last 16 after losing each of their first three group stage games. OM need victory, even for Europa League qualification.
Marseille are on a run of five defeats in their last six - a run that was arrested in the 1-1 draw against Stade Rennes in Ligue 1 last weekend. Elie Baup has felt the pressure in recent weeks, after a shocking run of form with defeats to Dortmund, Arsenal, Napoli, PSG, Monaco, Nice and Stade de Reims.
Both sides met at the Stade Velodrome two weeks ago, with Rafa Benitez's men prevailing 2-1. Marseille were once more victims of their own poor defensive abilities, as Duvan Zapata wrapped up victory for the Partenopei.
Matchday four of the Champions League, and we are beginning to get a clearer picture of which sides are getting ever closer to qualification for the last 16. In Group F, Napoli are joined on six points with Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund, who face off at the Westfalenstadion. Marseille, remain pointless.
Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the UEFA Champions League Group F clash between Napoli and Olympique de Marseille from the Stadio San Paolo in Naples. I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be providing coverage for the next two hours in this intriguing clash between two great European footballing hotbeds.
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