Marseille in seventh heaven
Marseille stormed into contention to qualify for the last 16 with a thumping 7-0 victory over Zilina.
Last Updated: 03/11/10 10:47pm
Marseille stormed back into contention to qualify for the last 16 with a thumping 7-0 victory over Zilina to see them record the biggest away win in UEFA Champions League history.
A hat-trick from Andre-Pierre Gignac, two from Lucho Gonzalez, as well as Gabriel Heinze and Loic Remy all got in on the action to give them a significant goal difference advantage over Spartak Moscow as they prepare to face each other in the next round of matches.
It was a hammering and a humbling for the Slovakian champions and league leaders as they failed to get anywhere near the smart play of Marseille's midfield and were horribly exposed in defence throughout.
Didier Deschamps' side went into the game knowing that they needed to win to keep the pressure on rivals Spartak, and they did not let him down.
The visitors started the game the better right from the off, with Heinze heading over from a corner in the second minute, demonstrating the intent the French champions had of winning an important fixture.
Their dominance continued with playmaker Mathieu Valbuena hitting a great strike first time from Cesar Azpilicueta's cross just over the crossbar.
Sixes and sevens
Zilina were at sixes and sevens in the opening exchanges, consistently mis-controlling and giving away the ball lazily in dangerous areas.
Marseille were peppering Zilina's goal with shots, with Benoit Cheyrou twice unleashing from range to fire wide and Valbuena hitting one from distance straight at Martin Dubravka.
They deservedly broke the deadlock in the 11th minute with Gignac poking out his thigh to deflect Cheyrou's free-kick into the corner of the net.
The lead-up to the goal was needless, with some tough tackling by the home side leading to silly fouls in dangerous areas.
The Slovakians tried to respond, but it was to get worse at the midway point of the first half as Charles Kabore's through ball tore open a completely static defence to feed Gignac to beat Mario Pecalka's desperate challenge and slide the ball home.
It was turning into a rout, and it was three just two minutes later as Heinze got to the near post unmarked from Cheyrou's corner to score an excellent looping header into Dubravka's far corner.
Dubravka had to be on his guard on the half-hour mark to tip Remy's shot from the edge of the box wide, as the Zilina defence again failed to deal accordingly with the slick interplay of the French champions' midfield.
The signs of a nightmare evening became even clearer as manager Pavel Hapal withdrew Sergio Vittor to be replaced by Stefan Zosak with just 30 minutes gone as he tried so shore up his midfield, much to the disgruntlement of Vittor who stormed off down the tunnel.
But it was to make little difference as Cheyrou's ball was deflected and ran through to Remy to pass home with the simplest of finishes.
Zilina would have felt hard done by not to get a penalty as Tomas Oravec came through a crowd of players to go down under Stephane Mbia's challenge, however the decision went the other way for a supposed offside.
The home side began the second half with an improvement, having more of the ball and a little more composure in possession, but their efforts were coming to little, with Ondrej Sourek firing high and wide.
But that was as good as it got as Valbuena broke through paper-thin resistance to flick the ball to the back post on to the head of Gonzalez to make it five.
Gignac then grabbed his hat-trick as the Marseille midfield combined brilliantly to find Azpilicueta, who crossed for the French international to bravely head home and claim the match ball.
Gonzalez then got his second, bursting through from Gignac's headed flick-on to ease his way into the box to fire home with just 62 minutes on the clock.Zilina came close to some sort of response in the 86th minute but substitute Tomas Majtan could only see his effort come back off the crossbar to sum up a miserable night for the home side.
|MSK Zilina||Team Statistics||Marseille|
|0||1st Half Goals||4|
|0||Shots on Target||12|
|8||Shots off Target||7|