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Marseille defeat denies Dinamo

Olympique de Marseille 2-1 FC Dinamo Bucuresti First-half goals from Bostjan Cesar and José Delfim ended the away team's challenge.

Olympique de Marseille clinched first place in UEFA Cup Group F with a victory against FC Dinamo Bucuresti that means that the French side avoid meeting the UEFA Champions League sides who join the competition in the Round of 32.

Dinamo woe
First-half goals from Bostjan Cesar and José Delfim put the Ligue 1 team in control before Claudiu Niculescu halved Dinamo's deficit early in the second period. Marseille held on however as Dinamo were pipped to a place in the next round by SC Heerenveen, who defeated PFC Levski Sofia in the section's other game, thereby eliminating holders PFC CSKA Moskva.

Barthez saves
It was the visitors who attacked first with Andrei Márgáritescu forcing Marseille goalkeeper Fabien Barthez to save with his feet in the fifth minute. Eleven minutes later, Dinamo defender Gabriel Tamas blocked Samir Nasri's shot before Franck Ribéry fired over. Dinamo then raced to the other end where Niculescu shot narrowly too high before Barthez was forced into action once more, this time stopping Florin Bratu's shot.

Marseille in charge
Marseille slowly took control, however, with Delfim having two good chances in quick succession, the Portuguese striking the first attempt over the bar before seeing his next effort saved by Vladimir Gayev. Sabri Lamouchi, Demetrius Ferreira and Nasri all then missed the target before Marseille finally broke the deadlock in the 38th minute.

Quick double
Ribéry's corner which was met by the head of Cesar, who sent the ball into the roof of the net from close range. Delfim then doubled the lead from another Ribéry corner on the stroke of half-time, hitting a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal.

Niculescu lifeline
The visitors began the second half brightly as they sought a response. Bratu fired wide in the 50th minute, and moments later they found a lifeline after Cesar conceded a free-kick on the edge of the area and Niculescu stepped up to drive a right-footed shot low in the centre of the goal. However, despite the goal there was little sign from the visitors that they would find a way back to record the win they needed.

Late chances
Indeed, it was Marseille who continued to attack with Cesar, Wilson Oruma and Ribery all squandering opportunities. Niculescu tested Barthez from the edge of the area in the 82nd minute, but Marseille comfortably held on to clinch the group.