|Attempts on target||2||4|
|Attempts off target||4||6|
There was no mistaking the sense of relief among Olympique de Marseille players after their 1-0 victory at FC Zürich finally got Group C points on the board for the French club.
After defeats against AC Milan and Real Madrid CF, the UEFA Champions League gloom was finally lifted at the Letzigrund Stadium when Argentina defender Gabriel Heinze turned in Lucho's deep cross in the 69th minute for what proved to be the only goal of the game, a priceless winner for Marseille. Though still three points behind Madrid and Milan, Marseille are now level with their Swiss opponents and well within sight of the pacesetters, leaving Mamadou Niang to sum up the newly optimistic mood. "We're still in the race; we're not dead and buried," the captain said. "We knew that it was an important match and we did what we had to do, which was to get the three points."
Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, who was kept particularly busy in the closing stages after a quiet first half, was on the same wavelength as his skipper. "We were aware that we absolutely had to win tonight to have any hope of continuing in the competition," he said. "We've managed that, but it's not over yet. There are matches to come and it's down to us now to make sure we make the most of them." The next engagement for Didier Deschamps' men is on 3 November when Marseille and Zürich meet again at the Stade Vélodrome. Another victory for the French club would see their prospects of reaching the knockout stages seem a lot brighter.
Looking back on a torrid closing 20 minutes in Zurich during which a mixture of fine goalkeeping and good fortune kept the Marseille lead intact, Mandanda said: "Once we went up a goal up, Zürich started throwing everything at our penalty area. They went down the flanks, all of them pressed forward and they kept sending cross after cross into the middle, but we stood firm, defended well and everything worked out for us." It was Brazilian striker Brandão, whose tireless running went unrewarded on the night, who gave the most concise verdict of the situation, however. "These three points are very important," he said. "Now we have a chance of qualifying."
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.