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Gignac leads the way for majestic Marseille

MŠK Žilina 0-7 Olympique de Marseille
André-Pierre Gignac scored three goals and Lucho González two as the visitors recorded the biggest UEFA Champions League away victory.

Gignac leads the way for majestic Marseille
Gignac leads the way for majestic Marseille ©UEFA.com

A hat-trick from André-Pierre Gignac helped Olympique de Marseille set a new record UEFA Champions League away win as MŠK Žilina were swept away in Group F.

Marseille had won only two of their last nine away games in the tournament but had few problems against the Slovakian champions. Gignac struck twice in the first 21 minutes to give OM an ideal start, Gabriel Heinze and Loïc Rémy adding further goals before half-time to effectively settle the contest.

Gignac completed his hat-trick after the break and a Lucho González double rounded off the scoring as Marseille – for whom this was their biggest away win in Europe – became the first team to score more than six goals on the road in the competition.

Didier Deschamps' team had picked up their first Group F points in the reverse fixture two weeks ago and bristled with intent from the start. In the opening minutes Benoît Cheyrou whipped a dangerous effort across the goalmouth while Mathieu Valbuena volleyed a warning shot fractionally too high. The hosts were struggling to keep possession as the pressure mounted.

Souleymane Diawara's winner on Matchday 3 was Marseille's first goal of the group stage and their second took only 12 minutes to arrive, Cheyrou supplying a free-kick that Gignac acrobatically deflected beyond Martin Dúbravka. Nine minutes later it was two, Charles Kaboré given the time to thread a pass for Gignac to skip past Ondřej Šourek's challenge and slot in.

Three minutes later Heinze rose unmarked at the near post to loop a header from Cheyrou's corner over the helpless Dúbravka. Rémy then pounced on another defensive lapse only to slice wide but swiftly made amends, meeting Cheyrou's cross on the half-volley to give Marseille a four-goal cushion at the break.

The visitors continued the onslaught after the restart, Mathieu Valbuena breaking down the left and lifting a cross to the far post for Lucho to nod in within seven minutes. Gignac swiftly headed his third and Marseille's sixth – only Manchester United FC, at Brøndby IF in 1998/99, have previously scored as many in a UEFA Champions League away match – from César Azpilicueta's cross.

The seventh was not long coming, Lucho exchanging passes with Rémy and shooting beyond the exposed Dúbravka. Žilina rallied in the closing stages, and Tomáš Majtán fired a shot beyond Steve Mandanda only for the crossbar to deny the substitute. It summed up the evening for the home side, who cannot qualify for the last 16 after four straight defeats.

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