Two-goal hero André Ayew believes Olympique de Marseille are learning their lessons in the UEFA Champions League after converting most of their chances in Wednesday's outstanding 3-0 Group F defeat of Borussia Dortmund.
OM have struggled on home soil in this competition of late, losing seven and winning only five of their previous 15 Stade Vélodrome encounters, yet a mature tactical showing enabled them to claim a notable scalp. Marseille needed to defend for long periods against the German champions, for whom Mario Götze was a constant threat, but they stood firm and punished the visitors with a series of deadly counterattacks.
Ayew, Marseille's standout performer, opened the scoring with a precise low shot on 20 minutes, prompting a further barrage of Dortmund pressure. Jürgen Klopp's side were foiled by a determined Steve Mandanda several times before Loïc Rémy's goal lifted the hosts again after the hour. After sealing the victory with a 69th-minute penalty, Ghanaian international Ayew expressed delight at the clinical nature of the display.
"We all know that in the UEFA Champions League it's difficult to have a lot of opportunities in front of goal," the left-winger told UEFA.com. "You play against very good teams – teams that know what they are doing tactically and offensively. You may only have one or two chances and you need to put them in the net. It's good for us we did that."
Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, meanwhile, stressed the collective nature of the performance, saying: "We stuck together and remained very solid at the back. When we don't concede we know we have a chance because we've got players who can score at any moment."
The French international nevertheless conceded "not everything was perfect" and applauded Dortmund for their dynamic display. "They're a very strong side with some excellent individuals," said Valbuena. "We suffered in the first 15 minutes of the second half, but we got the second goal which liberated us."
The scoreline was unquestionably hard on Dortmund, who struck the woodwork twice and created a host of opportunities. Centre-back Mats Hummels certainly felt his team deserved better, saying: "We can't believe what happened. The score is ridiculous because we had the better chances and we had 11 corners to their four. But we made three individual errors and they scored three goals. It's really hard for us because we should have won but we are going home with no points."
The result leaves Dortmund third in Group F with one point ahead of their trip to Olympiacos FC, while Marseille will welcome Arsenal FC to southern France next month as the section leaders with maximum points from two games.
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