Marseille complete French trio in Europa League

UEFA Europa League

Olympique de Marseille made it three Ligue 1 Conforama teams through to the UEFA Europa League knockout stages with a goalless draw at home to RB Salzburg on Thursday.

UEFA Europa League, Matchday 6

Thursday, 7 December, 2017

 Olympique de Marseille 0-0 RB Salzburg  Group I

Salzburg were already through as group winners, but Marseille required a point to ensure they joined their Austrian guests in the Round of 32.

Despite attacking intentions from both sides, neither was able to muster a shot on target in the first half, and it was not until three minutes after the restart Maxime Lopez brought the first real save from visiting 'keeper Alexander Walke (48').

Walke then thwarted Bouna Sarr, who looked like he would open the scoring with a powerful shot from close range (54') before Steve Mandanda was called upon to keep out a Valon Berisha free-kick (66').

Valère Germain might have snatched a win after coming off the bench, but the former AS Monaco forward saw Walke again stand firm (83').

 Atalanta 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais  Group E 

Olympique Lyonnais missed out on top spot in Group I as they were beaten in Italy. Those hopes were quickly dashed though as Andrea Petagna took advantage of hesitation in the Lyon rearguard to head home just ten minutes in.

The loss of Maxwel Cornet to injury in added time at the end of the first half did not help the visitors' cause, and Josip Ilicic came close to doubling the hosts' lead in the second half (65').

Nabil Fekir eventually forced a save from home goalkeeper Etrit Berisha late on (78') and then went closer still in added time, but his brilliantly struck free-kick found a post (90+1') as Atalanta held on to top the section.

 Vitesse Arnhem 1-0 OGC Nice  Group K 

The game had little riding on it with Nice already assured of second place in the group, and coach Lucien Favre took the opportunity to give Wylan Cyprien his first taste of competitive football since March.

A much-changed line-up still gave a good account of themselves with Jean-Victor Makengo (11') and Bassem Srarfi going close to breaking the deadlock (54').

But Nice goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale was also busy, brilliantly denying Luc Castaignos just before the break (45+1') before he was beaten by the on-loan Sporting Lisbon forward.

Cyprien's loss of possession in midfield cost the visitors dearly as the hosts moved down the right before Milot Rashica had a shot that Cardinale pushed out only as far as Castaignos, who pounced on the loose ball to give his team the win (84'). 

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