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UEFA Champions League

  • 23 November 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
  • Referee: N. Rizzoli
  • • Attendance: 25392
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Marseille 0-1 Olympiakos: Late Fetfatzidis goal stuns Ligue 1 side & ensures Group F goes down to final round

Marseille 0-1 Olympiakos: Late Fetfatzidis goal stuns Ligue 1 side & ensures Group F goes down to final round

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The French side are still in pole position to progress as runners-up and join Arsenal in the knockout stages, despite conceding late on at Stade Velodrome

Ioannis Fetfatzidis' late strike dealt a blow to Marseille’s hopes of qualifying from Champions League Group F, as Olympiakos picked up a surprise 1-0 victory in France.

The Greek side had the better chances in the first half, drawing several fine stops from goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, and Marseille’s inability to react after the interval invited the late winning goal from the young midfielder, whose brilliantly executed volley from the corner of the box was enough to secure all three points.

Following a promising opening 10 minutes, in which the hosts created a couple of half-chances for holding midfielder Alou Diarra, they spent much of the opening 45 minutes frustrated by a well-drilled Greek defence.

Aside from a couple of hopeful long-range efforts which were deflected wide, it was Ernesto Valverde’s side who had the better chances, with Olof Mellberg finding the back of the net in the opening exchanges, only for his header to be ruled offside.

Kevin Mirallas was a particular threat for Olympiakos, frequently causing problems down the left channel with his speed and movement. Ten minutes before the break, a strong counter was led by the Belgian, who drove past three players only for his effort to be blocked by Mandanda.

Iosif Holebas picked the rebound out 25 yards out, but the goalkeeper somehow adjusted himself to block the left-sided player’s wickedly deflected shot, before the Frenchman was again on hand to prevent Giannis Maniatis.


               Greece lightning | Olympiakos struck late on to snatch victory in Marseille

After the interval, Marseille managed to reduce the threat of the visitors on the break, and they created a couple of better openings for themselves.

A corner caused a major scramble in the Olympiakos box, but the Greeks somehow survived, while Diarra was unable to correctly time his diving header otherwise Balazs Megyeri would have been picking the ball from his net.

Olympiakos continued to cause problems in the second half, with Mirallas once again the major protagonist, after his strong burst down the left channel resulted in another smart save from Mandanda.

The 26-year-old was looking invincible, but Olympiakos managed to carve out the game’s decisive moment when Francisco Yeste’s superb cross picked out Fetfatzidis, who volleyed into the corner of the net to give his side the lead.

Finally, Marseille offered a serious threat, with Loic Remy’s downward header blocked by Megyeri and then Lucho lobbing the follow-up over the goalkeeper, but the French side were unable to force a response as their mediocre season continued with an unexpected but thoroughly deserved loss.

Despite the defeat, Marseille remain in second place in Group F and will remain favourites to join Arsenal in qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition.

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