Olympique Marseille stormed into the
Champions League last 16 in the most dramatic way possible on
Tuesday, coming from 2-0 behind to snatch a 3-2 win at Borussia
Dortmund with a brilliant late goal by Mathieu Valbuena.
The substitute's stunning 87th minute effort allowed
Marseille to grab second place by one point from Olympiakos
Piraeus, who beat Group F winners Arsenal 3-1 and for a time
thought they were going through.
"This win will be engraved in the history of Marseille,"
coach Didier Deschamps told reporters.
"Football is marvellous when you win. We believed right
until the end, both the players and the fans. There is also
pride at reaching the last 16 for two straight years."
The French side, needing to win to qualify without depending
on the Greek team's result, were apathetic for the first 45
minutes as they fell 2-0 down to a close-range goal from Jakub
Blaszczykowski and a Mats Hummels penalty.
Loic Remy headed one back in first-half stoppage-time with
their first real attack but Marseille still looked beaten until
Ghanaian Andre Ayew headed the equaliser with five minutes to
That was still not enough to qualify until substitute
Valbuena collected the ball near the touchline, jinked his way
past three defenders and scored with a dipping right-foot drive
from the edge of the penalty area.
"That goal before half-time gave us a boost and we knew we
would then have chances. What we have done tonight is enormous,"
The French team finished second with 10 points with
Olympiakos on nine and the Bundesliga champions embarrassingly
last with four having had a small chance before kick-off of
reaching the last 16.
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp, whose team are enjoying
another good season domestically and are second in the
Bundesliga, said: "To put it simply, it's bad. But we'll be
"We did everything right at the start, we weren't too
hectic, 2-1 was unnecessary but not a great problem. But we
undid it all in the second half."
The game had begun will all sorts of possible permutations
for the group.
Dortmund's most realistic hope was to win by three goals and
hope Olympiakos lost to already-qualified Arsenal.
There was also a possibility that all three teams could
finish with seven points if Borussia won and the Greeks drew, a
scenario which would have had calculators working overtime.
Dortmund went ahead in the 23rd minute following a long
throw-in on the right which was brought under control by Robert
Lewandowski before his fellow Pole Blaszczykowski fired in from
They increased their lead in the 32nd minute when Sebastian
Kehl was fouled and Hummels converted the penalty.
Kehl was carried off on a stretcher after a kick in the face
but Dortmund said nothing was broken. The four-minute delay as
he was taken off caused the match to finish later than the
The French side, very inconsistent in Ligue 1, pulled one
back deep into first-half stoppage-time with their first real
attack, Remy stealing in front of his marker to meet Morgan
Amalfitano's cross with a diving header.
Ayew headed the equaliser in the 85th minute and Dortmund
were still recovering for that when Valbuena superbly hit the
decisive goal which sent the away fans into raptures.
Before the late burst Olympiakos thought they were going
through but the Greeks must now settle for the Europa League.
French champions Lille have to beat Trabzonspor on Wednesday
to join Marseille in the last 16 draw with fellow French side
Olympique Lyon having little chance of progressing.
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