UEFA Europa League

Match Report: Shakhtar 2-2 Marseille

Match Report: Shakhtar 2-2 Marseille

UEFA Europa League
Publish on 02/15 at 21:36 - G. BOXALL

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Olympique de Marseille led on two occasions but were held dramatically by Shakhtar to set up a nail-biting second leg at the Velodrome. A look back on a dramatic evening in Hamburg…

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s landmark goal and a vital strike from Iliman Ndiaye wasn’t enough to bring an aggregate lead back to the Velodrome later this month, as Shakhtar hit back in formidable fashion.

If Marino Pusic’s side didn’t play a competitive match in two months, it certainly didn’t show in the opening minutes of the encounter in Hamburg, as Zubkov poached the ball off Kondogbia and had to have his shot tipped over the bar by Pau Lòpez. The Ukrainian side would go on to dominate the ball in the early stage of the game, but Samuel Gigot’s glanced header came as a warning sign as OM looked to try and get themselves going (12’).

Shakhtar had the ball in the back of the net through Eguinaldo, who profited off some panic in the Marseille backline to slot into an open goal - yet the referee brought back play for a free-kick conceded by Leonardo Balerdi (27’).

The home side would have lionshare of chances in the first half as they effectively pounced with direct attacking play on the counter attack. Eguinaldo’s shot from the edge of the box flew over the bar as OM responded with a counter attack which saw Aubameyang take one too many touches in the box before being snuffed out (42’).

A tale of two halves: Aubamayeng's landmark strike

If the first half seemed a cagey, cautious affair, then the second one would see a flurry of goalscoring action. OM would find the opening goal through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with a lovely side-footed finish after being served a precise low cross from Jonathan Clauss (64’). It was the Gabon international’s sixth goal in six UEFA Europa League appearances, managing to join Radamel Falcao as the competition’s joint-top goal scorer.

Marseille led for only four minutes, as the home side hit back with an equaliser through defender Matviyenko after Jonathan Clauss failed to clear from a free-kick (68’). With the game finally opened up, it allowed for some dramatic action as the clock ticked into the last period of the game.

Iliman Ndiaye's winner, and then...

OM weren’t content to settle for a draw, and they managed to find another finish, this time through Iliman Ndiaye right on the 90-minute mark. The Senegalese international connected well with a cross from Aubameyang after a driving run into the box, as Gattuso’s men thought they came away with a win (90’). Yet, there would be one last fateful twist as Brazilian winger Eguinaldo rose highest with a looping header served by Zubkov which flew into the top corner for the Ukrainians to equalise in the most dramatic fashion.

It’s a goal which sets up a nail-biting affair at the Velodrome later this month with both sides level at the halfway stage of the tie.

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