Lokomotiv go down fighting to 10-man Marseille

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Olympique Marseille 1-0 Lokomotiv Moscow
UEFA Europa League, Group E
Thursday 9 December, Stade de Marseille

Goal: Marseille - Milik 35’

Lokomotiv travelled to the south of France more in hope than expectation knowing only a win would be enough to save their European campaign, but in the end they came up short.

Marseille dominated the vast majority of the play as Fedor Smolov toiled fruitlessly up front. In truth though, the hosts didn’t directly test Daniil Khudyakov a great deal in the opening half, but when they did it was more through careless marking than pure quality attacking play that broke them down.

Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik had been denied a clear shot at goal by a well-timed sliding challenge from Pablo about 10 minutes before the break that sent the ball out for a corner. From the set piece, Cengiz Under’s inswinging set piece was allowed to find Milik totally unmarked at the near post to glance past Khudyakov from a few yards out. 

After the break Lokomotiv were largely restricted to counter attacks, but the spaces that opened up suggested there could be a chance to exploit. 

Midway through the second period, Khudyakov was handed his sternest test by far. Gerson was played clear by Valentin Rongier, and although the Brazilian midfielder was unchallenged, Lokomotiv’s teenage keeper got just enough on the ball to deflect it onto the top of the crossbar and over.

Time was running out for the visitors to find the two goals they needed. With 10 minutes remaining, they were handed a glimmer of hope when Rongier was sent off for tripping Maciej Rybus. Markus Gisdol reacted by sending on Vitaly Lisakovich to chase a goal, but there wasn’t enough time to have an effect on the outcome.

Marseille third and qualify for the Conference League knockouts on seven points, while Lokomotiv end bottom of the group on two points.

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