Marseille mauled, PSG held

UEFA Europa League


Marseille face an uphill battle to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup after slipping to a 2-0 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their quarter-final tie in Ukraine. Paris Saint-Germain fared little better as they were held goalless by Ukrainian league leaders Dynamo Kiev at the Parc des Princes.

Shakhtar may have been little known to the French footballing public prior to kick-off in Donetsk, but Mircea Lucescu's side proved superior to a Marseille team that will have to take any chances afforded them in next Thursday's second-leg at the Stade Vélodrome.

After a bright opening from the orange-shirted hosts, Marseille could have gone in front on 36 minutes only for Mamadou Niang's low shot to ricochet back off a post, and just three minutes later, Erik Gerets' side were behind.

Darijo Srna's cross found Ilsinho, and the Brazilian touched the ball on to Tomas Hubschmann - the Czech midfielder managing to force the ball past Steve Mandanda at the second attempt.

Bakari Koné saw keeper Andriy Pyatov deflect a shot behind 11 minutes after the interval, while the Shakhtar goalie then comfortably gathered a powerful Hilton header from the resulting corner, but the visitors found themselves on the back foot for much of the second 45 minutes.

Shakhtar's significant Brazilian contingent grew in confidence and influence as the game wore on and gave their team a two-goal cushion on 65 minutes.

Willian, on the pitch for just two minutes after replacing Ilsinho, found Adriano who - after a sharp one-two with Fernandinho - slipped the ball to Jadson. His first-time shot was too good for Mandanda, who was then called upon twice to prevent Adriano making it mission impossible for OM next week.


Paul Le Guen made the rare choice to name an almost full-strength line-up in European competition, but PSG found their ambitions frustrated by a well-organised Dynamo side.

Stéphane Sessegnon buzzed busily, and created the best opening of the match after 30 minutes when he raced to the by-line before cutting the ball back to Clément Chantôme.

However, the young midfielder, slotted into the starting line-up to give Claude Makelele's ageing legs a rest, showed all the prowess in front of goal of his illustrious team-mate by shooting straight at Dynamo keeper Stanislav Bogush from close range.

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