Olympique Marseille 1-0 Inter Milan – as it happened
Marseille won a close game at the death courtesy of a last-minute winner from André Ayew.
Image courtesy of WellOffside.com
FULL-TIME: Marseille 1-0 Inter Milan And it ends immediately afterwards. Marseille have won it with the scrappiest of goals, a corner being floated in and Ayew getting a scuffy header on it to send it spinning just out of Cesar’s reach. In a rare moment of synchronisation, he Inter team facepalm as one. And that sums up their evening. Marseille will fancy their chances of getting to the quarter-finals now. The game wasn’t too bad at all, although it’s marred by the fact that, of course, I have now lost my one true love, had my genitals blown to pieces, taken a bullet through the skull, and been responsible for the deaths of a number of children. I should probably add ‘see earlier entry’ to that. Anyway, thanks for reading. Join us tomorrow night for more ACTION and such. G’bye!
90+2 min: GOAL! AND AYEW HAS WON IT! Olympique Marseille 1-0 Inter Milan
90 min: As we enter added time, my pet footballing hate surfaces: Valbuena has an easy pass to put Morel into space down the left and perhaps curl in a final cross which could win the game. He rolls a godawful pass far too hard and far too ahead of him which he has no chance of catching and gives Inter a throw-in. Morel’s response, of course, is to applaud him. Not even sarcastically either. Whereas he should’ve slapped him, or said something like “What. That was seriously the worst pass ever. There was nobody near you. It was like a six-yard ball. If that. Could’ve won the game, right there. That cross. Boom. Brandao, and it’s 1-0. But no. Can’t complete a 6-yard pass.” That’s what he should’ve said.
88 min: Almost suicidal for Inter! Joel Obi mysteriously tries to do the hold-the-ball-in-the-corner thing but doesn’t appear to realise it’s his own corner. He’s duly forced to clear, but only rolls it to Amalfitano, who curls it in for Ayew, who doesn’t get enough power on his header at the back post to beat Cesar. That could’ve been a nasty one.
85 min: Update from the other game! Basel take the lead! Stocker puts them 1-0 up with time running out.
84 min: This game, which has not been anywhere near as bad as a lot of people seem to be making out, is coming to a close, and neither team looks too much like getting a victory. Which will probably suit Marseille. If you put a gun to my head and a bomb down my drawers and held a knife to the throats of a busload of schoolchildren whilst holding the love of my life above a piranha tank, I’d probably opt for Inter, but I wouldn’t be too confident.
80 min: Well, Azpilicueta is off. Rod Fanni replaces him.
78 min: Ayew goes close! He gets on the end of a far-post cross but directs his header wide, partly thanks to the attentions of Nagatomo.
76 min: “Very impressed with Azpilicueta. I look forward to seeing him linked to … Chelsea, probably, in tomorrow’s papers”, tweets Andi Thomas.
74 min: Inter have a free-kick, which Sneider delivers into the box well to finds Stankovic, but the Serb isn’t completely expecting it and, unbalanced, can only sidefoot it at Mandanda.
72 min: Joel Obi collects an excellent ball from Cambiasso over the top, but he can’t shake off the attention of the solid Azpilicueta, who steals the ball and looks to run it clear, before the Nigerian chops him down in frustration. He should be booked but isn’t. Seconds later, Diawara exacts revenge upon Obi and does go in the book.
71 min: Forlan cuts it back for Stankovic, but he finds the ball taken off his toe by N’Koulou as he aimed for goal. The Cameroon defender then leads the Marseille counter-attack, galloping down the left-wing, but his pass to Brandao comes to nothing, as he can neither outpace nor outmuscle Nagatomo.
67 min: Valbuena delivers the ball to Cheyrou on the edge of the Inter area, and he leaves it only to see that there’s nobody behind him, collect it again, and dink it in for Brandao, but Stankovic heads clear. Paul Ince was suggesting before the game that Inter need to revitalise their team by clearing out the old heads, but Stankovic, Cambiasso, Cesar and Zanetti have been their best players tonight. Not just tonight, really, they’re just their best players.
67 min: Marseille have been making good headway down the right flank in the second half, and that might be about to get worse, as Chivu goes in the book for a foul on Amalfitano.
64 min: Diawara gives Inter a cheap free-kick by making a right mess of controlling an aerial ball and flapping at it with his hands. It comes to nothing.
63 min: Mauro Zarate, who has decided this will be one of his Bad Days, comes off for Joel Obi.
62 min: Azpilicueta tries to knock the ball past Chivu, and can’t outpace him but is aided when the Romanian goes to the turf. Fortunately, Samuel is alert to rush to his aid.
60 min: Zarate needs to be careful. He fouls Ayew again, and will be on thin ice now. There was no need, either – Nagatomo (who came on at half-time, which I heard during said half-time puff and made a mental note to inform you of, but forgot) had him well-marshaled.
59 min: Now Zarate goes in the book too, for bundling Ayew over. Both teams are getting a mite frustrated.
59 min: Figo is here, replete with suspiciously dark hair for a man of his years. You’ve still got it!
58 min: As Valbuena collects the ball, Stankovic decides to have a seat on his shoulders. He’s booked for his trouble.
56 min: As Inter’s fluency and co-ordination has increased, so has their threat on the counter-attack – or at least it would, but they simply aren’t committing enough men to the attack quickly enough. By the time reinforcements do arrive, Inter are reduced to having to pass their way though the Marseille defence, which they haven’t looked likely to do all night, and Zarate surrenders possession tamely.
54 min: Amalfitano goes twistin’ and jinkin’ down the right, curling in a decent cross, but Brandao falls over and then Ayew falls over him.
52 min: “I assumed it was a Grindr reference”, says Daniel Harris of my reasoning for missing the half. If more people bought t-shirts, it would’ve been.
49 min: Marseille have a corner, which falls to Cheyrou in the area, but Inter shirts get in the way of the shot, and then get in the way of each other as nervy hesitation leads the clearance to be delayed with Marseille players lurking. When it is hoofed away, it’s only done so as far as Diawara, who has an excellent opportunity, but slices the shot badly.
47 min: Andre Ayew curls a fine cross into the area, but Brandao’s jump is too static and early to allow him to get enough power on the header to beat Cesar.
46 min: I missed the first 20 seconds because I decided to gamble that nothing would happen and finish my fag. I couldn’t smoke it at the laptop because I am, for financial reasons, living in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you want to change that situation, and thus improve future MBM coverage, you can help by buying a t-shirt.
45 min: We’re off again.
HALF-TIME: Olympique Marseille 0-0 Inter Milan “Who wrote that piece you had on your site a while back about Zanettis hair? I enjoyed that. This game, however……” tweets Karl McLeod. I can’t remember. If you couldn’t find it by Googling, then I can’t be bothered trawling the archives, and if you could find it by Googling, THEN GO AND BLOODY FIND IT BY GOOGLING. It’s not been that bad a game, either – it’s been one of those enjoyable 0-0s. If I supported either team and it was the second leg, it would be tense – but I don’t and it isn’t so it’s merely decent. Join me in a bit for the second half.
43 min: Good counter-attack from Inter – Forlan receives the ball and drops and turns to play in the onrushing Cambiasso, whose movement tonight has been flawless. His shot, however, has the sting taken out of it by the smooth and bronzed leg of the equally-excellent Azpilicueta, and Mandanda gathers easily.
42 min: Cheyrou, who committed the earlier dead-ball atrocity, adds to his list of terrible free-kicks with another tiddler. He should be sent off, it was that bad.
41 min: Samuel chops down Brandao, and Marseille have a free-kick outside the area. Valbuena or Cheyrou to take…
40 min: Cambiasso and Valbuena come together as Marseille attack. It was more Cambiasso’s foul, but he also grabbed the ball as he fell, so according to the rules of the game, that means that he was definitely fouled and Inter get the free-kick.
36 min: Valbuena is just the sort of creative, inventive player that Marseille will need to break the Inter defence when they mass ranks. However, you can be too creative and inventive – you can try to score an overhead kick from near the corner flag, as he fails to do here.
35 min: Typically, Inter produce their best short-passing and close-control of the game when the situation called for a quick whack up the channel. Zarate tries to get a cross in from the left but he’s well-marshalled off the ball by Azpilicueta.
32 min: Azpilicueta thumps in a cross which Cheyrou tries to nod into the path of Brandao or Ayew, but he can’t find either. This has been a good contest so far – plenty of action from both sides, an open enough game, and certainly a finely-balanced one.
30 min: Ludicrous refereeing and ludicrous football! Marseille win a free-kick out on the left wing. It’s whipped in and about five Marseille players are offside when it is – they all attempt to get on the end of it with Inter’s entire team puffing and wheezing in their wake, and a combination of hestitation and getting in each other’s way does for them. Brandao and Diarra get touches but can’t divert it goalwards.
28 min: Into the wall. Disappointing from Manchester United’s saviour. Soon after, Cambiasso gets on the end of a ball into the box to volley goalwards, which Mandanda saves superbly, but it’s ruled offside in any case. Replays show that it was very tight.
26 min: Diarra chops down Zarate and Inter have a free-kick opportunity. “Give us a goal”, sing the Nerazzurri fans, who are watching a line-up that is entirely without a goal for a whole month. Sneijder’s over it…
25 min: Cambiasso has been Inter’s best player so far. He does well to get down the left once again, although his low centre leaves a lot to be desired, easily cut out as it is by the Marseille backline.
23 min: Here’s Kalman Dean-Richards: “Apparently Bayern-Basle is a great game…any chance of a mbm-switcheroo…” What, and ruin all my painstaking research! I’m hearing nothing about how great the game on The Other Side is but it’s 0-0, just like this one, which has been entertaining enough. MBMing it hasn’t been like pulling teeth, at least, which is usually the sign that it’s not been without event.
22 min: And the same might be said of Inter. Sneijder faffs around in the hole, looking for a shooting opportunity but seeing only Marseille defenders blocking his line of sight, and looking for a passing opportunity but seeing only static Inter shirts. Eventually Stankovic gives it away with a terrible pass and Marseille attack again.
20 min: Marseille are getting forward plenty, but they look most dangerous when they attack quickly rather than press and probe. Their forwards seem to have a very good understanding and awareness about each other’s movement.
19 min: Azpilicueta goes close! Marseille lead a quick attack with Brandao, and after Amalfitano’s cross is cleared, it falls to the Basque full-back, who volleys it from 25 yards, not getting quite enough dip for it to drop under the bar.
16 min: Zanetti is simply superhuman. The 38-year-old knocks a ball down the right wing and then gets on the end of his own pass to cut a dangerous ball into the area for Zarate, but Mandanda is out to deal with it.
13 min: Cheyrou escapes into the Inter area with some fine footwork as Marseille press again, but he’s denied by a pair of wonderful tackles from Lucio.
10 min: Forlan misses an easy chance! Cambiasso curled in a great ball from the left-wing which found Forlan in front of goal, but his leaping flick was the wrong sort of finish, too high and too close to Mandanda, who tips over for good measure. The corner then comes to nothing.
9 min: After Sneijder wins possession in the centre of the pitch, Cambiasso tries the early ball through to Forlan, who is well-positioned, but the pass is too wide and the opportunity doesn’t materialise. Forlan hasn’t scored since August, due to form and fitness problems – that should’ve been a chance for him to open his account for 2012.
6 min: Marseille go on the attack again – they’ve started by far the brighter team – but Zarate, of all people, gets the crucial tackle in to halt their progress. Soon he’s off too, leading the Inter counter-attack, but he can’t get around Diawara and Marseille regroup.
5 min: The free kick is the world’s worst, rolled into the ankles of the Inter wall.
4 min: A dangerous free-kick for Marseille now – Stankovic headed the corner clear, but Zarate hacked down a Marseille player as it landed at the edge of the area.
2 min: Marseille go flying out of the traps, attacking the Inter box immediately, but as Remy jostles for a high ball, he knocks Maicon down to the ground. A good sport, he helps him to his feet, for which he receives a pat on the arse. And now Marseille have a corner…
And we’re off.
We’re almost ready to kick off. Neither team is particularly setting things alight on the domestic front, but as Napoli showed us last night, that’s no barrier to putting on a good display in Europe.
Preamble: I’m late. There’s your preamble for you. It’s classic First Round of 16 stuff here, no spiel necessary. Seen it all before. SPOILER: The French team loses.
Marseille: Mandanda, Azpilicueta, Diawara, N’Koulou, Morel, Diarra, Cheyrou, Amalfitano, Valbuena, Andre Ayew, Brandao. Subs: Bracigliano, Gignac, Kabore, Traore, Jordan Ayew, Fanni, Sabo.
Inter Milan: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu, Zanetti, Stankovic, Cambiasso, Zarate, Sneijder, Forlan. Subs: Castellazzi, Pazzini, Poli, Obi, Milito, Ranocchia, Nagatomo.