The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Dortmund advances to knockout phase of Champions League with 2-1 win over Marseille
MARSEILLE, France - Borussia Dortmund beat 10-man Marseille 2-1 with a late goal from Kevin Grosskreutz on Wednesday to top Group F and advance to the Champions League knockout stage.
Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski beat the offside trap to open the scoring for last season's runner-up with a chip in the fourth minute. But Marseille defender Souleymane Diawara headed in a rebound to equalize in the 14th.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men in the 34th when Dimitri Payet was shown a second yellow card for diving inside the area.
Dortmund capitalized on its numerical superiority in the second half and Grosskreutz scored the winner with an off-balance strike into the bottom corner in the 87th.
In the group's other match, Napoli beat Arsenal 2-0. Dortmund, Arsenal and Napoli all finished level on 12 points. Head-to-head records determined the standings with Arsenal taking second place.
"It was difficult to stay calm, all the more so since we knew Napoli had scored against Arsenal," Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp told Marseille's website. "I'm very happy with the qualification and our first place."
Marseille became the first French club to finish the group stage of the Champions League with zero points.
"We're a bit ashamed," Diawara told BeIn Sport television. "We didn't want to finish without a point. Our goal was to get at least a draw (...) We played aggressively but it wasn't enough."
Dortmund, which beat Marseille 3-0 two months ago in Germany, converted its first scoring chance when Lewandowski collected a long ball from Marco Reus and held off a challenge from Lucas Mendes to beat keeper Steve Mandanda.
Marseille replied ten minutes later when Saber Khalifa headed a free kick from Payet against the bar and Diawara followed up to score into an empty net.
Dortmund stepped up the pressure with a long-range strike from Grosskreutz straight into Mandanda's arms in the 29th and a cutback from Lewandowski for Reus, who fired over the bar in the 31st.
Payet then put Marseille in trouble by first receiving a yellow card for a foul on Jakub Blaszczykowski in the 32nd minute and then getting a second one for simulation two minutes later.
Dortmund was no match for Marseille in the second half. Mandanda cleared a header off the line from Blaszczykowski in the 57th and was lucky to see Reus struck the near post a few seconds later.
The German side was again let down by its finishing in the 67th when Lewandowski intercepted Diawara's backpass for Mandanda, but missed the target.
It took a charge from Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the left flank three minutes from time to send Dortmund into the last 16. Julian Schieber took the Armenia forward's pass to set up Grosskreutz for the winner.
Dortmund played without the injured Sven Bender, Neven Subotic, Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer and Ilkay Gundogan.
Marseille missed Nicolas Nkoulou and Alaixys Romao through suspension and Mathieu Valbuena and Andre Ayew through injury.
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