Olympique de Marseille hit FC København with a devastating three-goal salvo at the Parken Stadium, with efforts from Mamadou Niang, Hatem Ben Arfa and Charles Kaboré handing them a 3-1 win in their UEFA Europa League round of 32 opener.
After 72 minutes of committed if hardly engaging football, Marseille suddenly came to life through Niang's opener. The goalscorer was penalised for handball just six minutes later, allowing Jesper Grønkjær to level from the spot, but OM were in hungry mood and Ben Arfa put them back in front before Kaboré secured a healthy advantage at the halfway point in the tie.
It could all have been different had København been as clinical with the two chances they carved out before Niang struck. The first meaningful action of the first half saw Dame N'Doye's nudge draw a tremendous save from Steve Mandanda after Grønkjær's cross had picked out the Senegalese striker. The dogged N'Doye also blazed wide three minutes into the second half after Atiba Hutchinson had deftly back-heeled the ball into his path, just as København shaped to overwhelm their opponents in the second period.
They were left regretting those misses with 18 minutes remaining, when Bakari Koné patiently waited for the oncoming Niang before darting a ball into the box for the 30-year-old to control and dispatch past Johan Wiland, whose handling had been tidy up to that point.
Grønkjær struck back by sliding his spot-kick low and just beyond Mandanda, yet Ben Arfa promptly fired the visitors ahead again, darting up to the touchline and cutting in a ball from the left which whizzed into the net without the need of a contribution from Kaboré on the goal line. Kaboré was to have his moment in the 90th minute, however, Lucho teeing him up courtesy of a luxurious chip over the København defence that enabled the 22-year-old to beat the blameless Wiland.
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.