DORTMUND, Germany, December 7 – Coach Didier Deschamps hailed Olympique Marseille’s 3-2 win at Borussia Dortmund as one of the most important in the club’s history to reach the knock-out phase of the Champions League.
Having come from 2-0 down, Marseille capped a fairytale fightback with sub Mathieu Valbuena scoring the superb winner three minutes from time after Andre Ayew had levelled in the 85th.
With Arsenal losing 3-1 at Olympiakos, Marseille were bound for the Europa League and third place in Group F before netting two goals in two minutes at the end of the second half to turn a 2-1 defeat into a 3-2 victory.
Victory sees Marseille finish second behind Arsenal in the group with Olympiakos third and into the Europa League while Dortmund bow out of Europe.
Goals by Poland midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski and Germany defender Mats Hummels had put Dortmund 2-0 up early in the first-half.
But France striker Loic Remy pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time before Ayew and Valbuena set up the dramatic finish.
“Football is an amazing sport,” beamed Deschamps.
“It is a game that will remain very important in the history of OM and it is with pride that we will be going into the next round after two years away.
“We were in very bad shape in the first half, things were very difficult for us.
“We pulled things back with the goal by Remy just before half-time.
“Going into the break 2-0 down would have been very difficult.
“In the 85th minute, we were still 2-1 down, so it’s been a fabulous night.
“We came close to having nothing at all, so it was a big, collective performance.
“We believed in it until the end and so did our supporters in the stadium.”
The Germans put up a fight at their sold-out Signal Iduna Park stadium, but it was all in vain as Borussia exit Europe.
“We played really well in the first half and did everything right, we weren’t rushed, but our opponents worked us out,” said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp.
“Everything which went well for us before the break, didn’t afterwards.”
“This game reflects our journey in the Champions League.
“We started with discipline and flexibility and deserved to lead 2-0.
“The 2-1 score would have reflected the game, but OM forced two more goals.
“It’s hard, but that’s how we played our whole champions League campaign.”