Eintracht Frankfurt extended their H2H streak against Olympique de Marseille to four matches, as they lie in contention to progress to the Round of 16 with everything left to play for in Group D’s final round, with just two points separating the four teams.
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Perhaps high on morale following the 1-0 win in the reverse fixture at the Orange Vélodrome, their first-ever win in the UCL proper, Frankfurt were off to an intoxicating start within the first five minutes. Daichi Kamada executed a perfect finish into the bottom right corner following a dummied pass by Evan Ndicka from the left wing. The hosts could have easily doubled their lead via successive chances falling to Mario Götze and Christopher Lenz, but instead ended up conceding an equaliser from Matteo Guendouzi midway through the half, as he belted a volley into the roof of the net from Chancel Mbemba’s superb cross.
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It didn’t take long for the Eagles to restore their lead though, with Randal Kolo Muani finishing off a brilliant team move past a helpless Pau López just minutes later. A couple of intense moments unfolded before the break, as tempers flared between the two sides following a foul by Jordan Veretout right on the touchline, before Jonathan Clauss forced Kevin Trapp into a brilliant save with the final significant kick of the first period.
With the odds against Marseille for ending the game level, having drawn none of their last 22 UCL games, Les Olympiens knew that a do-or-die situation beckoned upon them for the next 45 minutes. Alexis Sánchez came agonizingly close to level proceedings on the hour mark, only to be denied by Trapp, who superbly tipped away the veteran striker’s freekick heading for the top corner. Frankfurt played second fiddle for large parts of the second half and almost conceded a second via Nuno Tavares’ long range effort. Nevertheless, they held themselves strong until the end, maintaining their 100% win record at home against French opposition.
Victory for the German side means everything is still to play for in the sixth and final matchday of the group stage. A dramatic draw between Tottenham Hotspur and Sporting CP means all four sides can still qualify next week.