Dortmund beats Marseille 2-1
Borussia Dortmund beat 10-man Marseille 2-1 with a late goal
from Kevin Grosskreutz on Wednesday to top Group F and advance to
the Champions League knockout stage.
Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski beat the offside trap to
open the scoring for last season’s runner-up with a chip in the
fourth minute. But Marseille defender Souleymane Diawara headed in
a rebound to equalize in the 14th.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men in the 34th when Dimitri Payet
was shown a second yellow card for diving inside the area.
Dortmund capitalized on its numerical superiority in the second
half and Grosskreutz scored the winner with an off-balance strike
into the bottom corner in the 87th.
In the group’s other match, Napoli beat Arsenal 2-0. Dortmund,
Arsenal and Napoli all finished level on 12 points. Head-to-head
records determined the standings with Arsenal taking second
”It was difficult to stay calm, all the more so since we knew
Napoli had scored against Arsenal,” Borussia Dortmund coach
Juergen Klopp told Marseille’s website. ”I’m very happy with the
qualification and our first place.”
Marseille became the first French club to finish the group stage
of the Champions League with zero points.
”We’re a bit ashamed,” Diawara told BeIn Sport television.
”We didn’t want to finish without a point. Our goal was to get at
least a draw (…) We played aggressively but it wasn’t
Dortmund, which beat Marseille 3-0 two months ago in Germany,
converted its first scoring chance when Lewandowski collected a
long ball from Marco Reus and held off a challenge from Lucas
Mendes to beat keeper Steve Mandanda.
Marseille replied ten minutes later when Saber Khalifa headed a
free kick from Payet against the bar and Diawara followed up to
score into an empty net.
Dortmund stepped up the pressure with a long-range strike from
Grosskreutz straight into Mandanda’s arms in the 29th and a cutback
from Lewandowski for Reus, who fired over the bar in the 31st.
Payet then put Marseille in trouble by first receiving a yellow
card for a foul on Jakub Blaszczykowski in the 32nd minute and then
getting a second one for simulation two minutes later.
Dortmund was no match for Marseille in the second half. Mandanda
cleared a header off the line from Blaszczykowski in the 57th and
was lucky to see Reus struck the near post a few seconds later.
The German side was again let down by its finishing in the 67th
when Lewandowski intercepted Diawara’s backpass for Mandanda, but
missed the target.
It took a charge from Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the left flank three
minutes from time to send Dortmund into the last 16. Julian
Schieber took the Armenia forward’s pass to set up Grosskreutz for
Dortmund played without the injured Sven Bender, Neven Subotic,
Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer and Ilkay Gundogan.
Marseille missed Nicolas Nkoulou and Alaixys Romao through
suspension and Mathieu Valbuena and Andre Ayew through injury.