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Olympiacos revived with Marseille scalp

Published: Wednesday 23 November 2011, 23.00CET
Olympique de Marseille 0-1 Olympiacos FC
A stunning late strike from substitute Giannis Fetfatzidis accounted for the hosts and breathed new life into the visitors campaign.
by Matthew Spiro
from Stade Vélodrome

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Published: Wednesday 23 November 2011, 23.00CET

Olympiacos revived with Marseille scalp

Olympique de Marseille 0-1 Olympiacos FC
A stunning late strike from substitute Giannis Fetfatzidis accounted for the hosts and breathed new life into the visitors campaign.

A stunning late strike from Olympiacos FC substitute Giannis Fetfatzidis accounted for a below-par Olympique de Marseille in southern France, breathing new life into their UEFA Champions League campaign.

The Greek title holders had the best of a stop-start encounter, and both José Holebas and Kevin Mirallas forced fine saves from Steve Mandanda before Fetfatzidis finally beat the OM skipper. The French club remain second in Group F before their final game at Borussia Dortmund on 6 December, but Olympiacos – who host section winners Arsenal FC next – are now only a point behind them, while the Bundesliga outfit can also still progress.

The hosts started in unconvincing fashion and they were almost punished on ten minutes, Olof Mellberg nodding in David Fuster's free-kick only for the Sweden international to be flagged after straying fractionally offside. With François Modesto and Giannis Maniatis snapping into tackles, Didier Deschamps' men struggled to find their composure in midfield, leaving Jordan Ayew and Loïc Rémy to feed off scraps in attack.

Too many Marseille passes were going astray and gradually the visitors seized the upper hand. When Mathieu Valbuena was caught in possession on 36 minutes, Mirallas burst past Souleymane Diawara and his cross-shot was parried by Mandanda. The goalkeeper produced an even better save to tip over Holebas' deflected follow-up after the midfielder had collected the rebound.

Growing in confidence, Ernesto Valverde's charges threatened again moments later, Maniatis driving in a low shot that Mandanda pushed to safety. OM began the second period with more urgency, creating their first opening as André Ayew's cross found Mathieu Valbuena, whose shot was expertly saved by Balázs Megyeri from point-blank range.

The chance sparked their first spell of pressure yet the visitors stood firm and almost scored themselves before the hour, Mirallas again surging past Diawara but failing to beat a perfectly-placed Mandanda.

Both teams created chances to win in the closing stages. Alou Diarra met Rémy's right-wing cross with a diving header that was brilliantly saved by a wrong-footed Megyeri, but it was the Piraeus outfit that had the final say. Francisco Yeste's visionary pass with the outside of his left foot picked out fellow substitute Fetfatzidis unmarked at the far post on 82 minutes. The 20-year-old did the rest, rifling an unstoppable first-time shot past Mandanda and inside the near post with his left foot.

Last updated: 27/11/12 9.31CET

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