Marseille, France, Nov 24: Substitute Giannis Fetfatzidis kept alive Olympiakos' chances of qualifying for the knockout stage of the Champions League, firing a half-volley into the bottom corner Wednesday to give the Greek club a 1-0 win over Marseille.
Spanish midfielder Francisco Yeste sent a ball over the top for Fetfatzidis, whose shot from a tight angle beat Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda in the 82nd minute. TV replays showed the Greek midfielder looked to be offside.
Arsenal beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 to top Group F with 11 points and secure a spot in the knockout phase. Marseille remained second despite the loss, one point clear of Olympiakos. Olympiakos hosts Arsenal on Dec. 6 while Marseille visits Dortmund.
“We've missed an opportunity tonight to qualify for the knockout stage. I'm very disappointed,” Marseille coach Didier Deschamps said. “Even a draw would have been enough tonight.
“If we did not have Steve Mandanda, who made three or four saves, we could have conceded far earlier. The team's performance was way under par tonight.”
Olympiakos needed a victory to stay in the hunt and pressed high up the pitch to prevent Marseille from starting moves.
The Greek team gave Marseille a big scare in the 10th. Sweden defender Olof Mellberg headed in a free kick from David Fuster, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
Marseille and France midfielder Alou Diarra outjumped the defense only to head a corner over the bar in the following minute.
Olympiakos forward Kevin Mirallas created the first clear-cut chance of the match in the 36th, the Belgian making a solo run from inside his own half and firing an angled shot that was punched away by Mandanda.
Olympiakos winger Jose Holebas pounced on the rebound and had an attempt that deflected off Diarra, but Mandanda made a reflex save despite being wrong-footed.
The visitors threatened again in the 39th, Mandanda diving to parry a long-range drive from midfielder Giannis Maniatis.
“We made our lives more difficult in the first half,” Marseille center back Souleymane Diawara said. “Instead of keeping it simple, we made complicated plays. In the second half they did what they had to do. They awaited us and counterattacked and we failed to react. I think we played a friendly game, not a Champions League game.”
Marseille showed more commitment after halftime, forcing goalkeeper Balazs Megyeri to block a point-blank attempt from Mathieu Valbuena in the 50th.
Megyeri then stopped a close-range header from Diarra off a cross by Marseille forward Loic Remy in the 72nd.
As the hosts looked to score, Olympiakos found more space in the Marseille defense. Mirallas dribbled past Diawara in the 59th to be clean through on goal but Mandanda denied the Belgian forward.
Olympiakos finally found the net through Fetfatzidis, and Megyeri preserved the victory by stopping Remy's header with his legs.
“We will have to show a different face if we really want to qualify,” Diawara said. “If we go to Dortmund and play like we did tonight then it's no use making the trip.”