Cyriel Dessers struck Feyenoord's first and last goals as they earned a slender UEFA Europa Conference League semi-final first-leg lead after letting a 2-0 advantage slip.
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Cyriel Dessers took his goal tally to ten in this season's UEFA Europa Conference League, the Feyenoord man profiting from a defensive blunder within seconds of the restart to give his side a lead to take to France.
18' Dessers fires low past Mandanda
20' Sinisterra doubles Feyenoord's lead
28' Fine Dieng finish brings OM back into game
40' Gerson pounces on loose ball to level
46' Dessers makes it 3-2 within seconds of restart
76' Crucial Mandanda save denies Dessers a hat-trick
Match in brief: Dessers gives Slot's men the edge
Dessers passed up a fine early chance at one end, and Bamba Dieng went close twice at the other, before the Feyenoord man made the breakthrough, finishing low past Steve Mandanda after Luis Sinisterra helped feed the ball into his path. The Colombian made it 2-0 within three minutes, though his shot took a key deflection off Valentin Rongier.
OM did not despair for long, Dieng atoning for his earlier lapses as he angled in a terrific shot from the edge of the area, and it was 2-2 by the break. Ofir Marciano dived to palm away Matteo Guendouzi's cross from the right, only for the oncoming Gerson to crash the loose ball in from ten metres out.
However, OM were in arrears again within seconds of the restart, Dessers chasing forward in hope from the kick-off and pouncing on an under-hit Duje Ćaleta-Car back-pass to reach ten goals for the season in the competition. It was all Feyenoord for a while, but Tyrell Malacia produced a brilliant challenge to thwart Dieng.
Mandanda then denied Dessers his third of the night, saving low at his near post with the Feyenoord forward unable to screw the loose ball into the net. William Saliba and Dieng had further chances to equalise, but it is hard to imagine that both sides will not have plenty of chances to add to their tallies in the second leg.
Derek Brookman, Feyenoord reporter
A superb result for Arne Slot’s boys. They looked somewhat rattled when Marseille cancelled out their two-goal lead, but that man Dessers did the business again seconds after the restart, and they didn’t give too much away thereafter. They will surely travel to France next week with plenty of confidence.
Ian Holyman, Marseille reporter
Marseille showed great character to come back from two down, but had they taken their early chances, Feyenoord would not even have built up such a lead. Ćaleta-Car's mistake means OM lost the first leg and Mandanda made some key saves, but Jorge Sampaoli's side created enough danger, notably through Dieng, to suggest they will score goals in next week's second leg, when a boisterous crowd will be behind them.
Arne Slot, Feyenoord coach: "If you concede two goals there’s always something wrong, but you also have to acknowledge the quality of the Marseille players. We were a little unfortunate that it was 2-2 after 45 minutes, because we created so many chances."
Cyriel Dessers, Feyenoord forward: “There’s a high risk factor in the way we play, yet also brings a lot of rewards. We can make things very difficult for Marseille. But they’re a very good team. You see that with guys like Payet. They weren’t in top form this evening, but they can still make something happen in a flash."
Guus Til, Feyenoord midfielder, speaking to UEFA.com: “We knew that Marseille would play with a really high back line, so we said that we would play the ball over the top. Our wingers are really fast. That’s what we’re good at.”
Jorge Sampaoli, Marseille coach: "In this sort of competition, you can't make mistakes like we did today. We weren't able to play, and the frustration that created led us to make mistakes. It's something to learn from for the future and for the second leg."
Luan Peres, Marseille defender, speaking to UEFA.com: “I think it was a fantastic match to watch, but it wasn’t fantastic for us. The main thing that wasn’t good for us when they started with two early goals. So we have to change things for the next match. Our coach told us that Dutch teams would play like this. We knew about that. So it wasn’t a surprise, but they did it very well."
Matteo Guendouzi, Marseille midfielder speaking to M6: "We're still in it. We're only a goal down. We didn't play well, especially in the first half when we made a lot of individual and technical mistakes. That's not what we've done since the start of the season. Even so, we created a lot of chances, and we want to make amends next week."
Bamba Dieng, Marseille forward, speaking to M6: "We're disappointed. It was a tough game. We lacked a ruthless streak in front of goal. I missed three chances I should have scored. We'll try and score more goals in the second leg to qualify. I'm happy to have scored my first European goal: it was important to help the team."
- Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda's made his 100th appearance in UEFA club competition; Arkadiusz Milik came on to make his 50th
- Dessers tops the competition's goalscorers rankings after taking his tally to ten for the season, two more than his nearest rival, Roma's Tammy Abraham
- Feyenoord have won eight and drawn one of their nine European home games this season; they have lost only two of their last 16 in all competitions (W12 D2 L2)
- Feyenoord are unbeaten in their previous 11 matches in the UEFA Conference League (group stage to final) W8 D3
- Arne Slot's men have scored two or more goals in each of their last ten UEFA Conference League matches, and three or more in their most recent five
- There has been a total of 43 goals scored in Feyenoord’s last ten UEFA Conference League matches (an average of 4.3 goals per game)
- Marseille had won their previous six UEFA Conference League games up until tonight; it was only their second defeat in 13 European matches this season (W7 D4 L2)
- Marseille have not failed to score in their last 20 away games in all competitions
Feyenoord: Marciano; Geertruida, Trauner, Senesi, Malacia; Til (Pedersen 89), Aursnes, Orkun Kökçü (Hendriks 82); Nelson (Linssen 65), Dessers (Jahanbakhsh 82), Sinisterra
Marseille: Mandanda; Rongier (Lirola 85), Saliba, Ćaleta-Car (Harit 69), Peres; Guendouzi, Kamara, Gerson; Bakambu (Gueye 46), Payet, Dieng (Milik 85)
Tirana's National Arena (Arena Kombëtare) will stage the final on Wednesday 25 May.
The winners gain a place in the 2022/23 UEFA Europa League group stage, if they have not qualified via their domestic competition.