Marseille sunk by own goal
A late Cesar Azpilicueta own goal saw Spartak Moscow beat Marseille in their Champions League opener.
By Steve Pass
Last Updated: 15/09/10 10:50pm
A late Cesar Azpilicueta own goal saw Spartak Moscow beat Marseille in their UEFA Champions League Group F opener.
Azpilicueta deflected a Dmitri Kombarov cross into his own net with nine minutes remaining in a game of few clear-cut opportunities in the Stade Velodrome.
For Marseille, Lucho Gonzalez missed a sitter with a header on 75 minutes while substitute Andre-Pierre Gignac hit the post in injury time.
The French champions had the first chance of the game in the fourth minute when Lucho put a free-kick from the left into the box but Benoit Cheyrou could not get a flick onto the ball.
Cheyrou had the first shot on seven minutes but his powerful long range effort was straight at Spartak keeper Andrei Dikan who gathered at the second attempt.
At the other end, Alex was played through on goal on 21 minutes after Kombarov had dispossessed Edouard Cisse but the Brazilian blasted well over from the edge of the box.
Brandao volleyed over from 15 yards and Cheyrou also missed the target, while Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda spilled Alex's dangerous cross from the left but the home side cleared the resulting corner.
Dikan then saved from both Brandao and Cheyrou late on as the first half finished all square.
Soon after the restart, Brandao shot just wide from close range, while he forced Dikan into a good save to his left with a header on 58 minutes.
That was his last taste of the action as Marseille boss Didier Deschamps brought on Andre-Pierre Gignac on the hour mark as he went for the win.
The home side improved with Gignac's introduction, with the striker bringing out a block from defender Nicolas Pareja after a pull back by Lucho, while Dikan had to dive at full stretch to deny Taye Taiwo soon afterwards.
Lucho also forced Dikan into a save, as did Mathieu Valbuena before Lucho headed wide from close range on 75 minutes from Valbuena's cross.
Marseille were made to pay for this glaring miss as Kombarov's cross from the left was deflected by Azpillcueta through Mandanda's legs and into the net.
Cisse went close late on while Gignac hit the post with a good effort in injury time but Spartak held on for a valuable victory.
|Marseille||Team Statistics||Spartak Moscow|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|7||Shots on Target||0|
|14||Shots off Target||3|