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Champions League: Inter 2 Marseille 1

13 March 2012 23:09

A stoppage-time goal from Brandao put Marseille into the Champions League quarter-finals despite a 2-1 loss to Inter on Tuesday.

Diego Milito had given the hosts the lead, but a long, hopeful ball from Steve Mandanda in the 91st minute was picked up by substitute Brandao, who shot home with seconds remaining to send Claudio Ranieri's side out.

The Marseille goalkeeper would be sent off moments later, but Giampaolo Pazzini’s late penalty was ultimately fruitless, as the 2-2 aggregate scoreline proved enough for Didier Deschamps' jubilant side.

Although it was the visiting side who offered the first effort on goal, Mathieu Valbuena spinning before shooting into the arms of Julio Cesar, it would be the hosts who passed up two golden opportunities in the opening 10 minutes.

Wesley Sneijder was the first culprit, inexplicably allowing his shot to be blocked by the prone Mandanda after an incisive incursion down the right from Javier Zanetti.

The magnitude of waste was matched moments later by Milito, who elected to chest a cross goalwards from four yards when a header would surely have brought the opener.

Mandanda reacted admirably to make the block, but the French goalkeeper should not have stood a chance.

Marseille's best opportunity of the first half came down the right flank, where they enjoyed much joy.

A cross from Cesar Azpilicueta picked out the fit-again Loic Remy, who aimed his header just past the post.

Chances for Inter were infrequent in the second half as Marseille played smartly. Andrea Poli blasted a half chance well over the top and the otherwise impressive Dejan Stankovic was much too high with a free kick.

Julio Cesar was not being overworked at the other end of the field, despite some neat play from the French side, but the goalkeeper did well to get down to a dangerous header from Alou Diarra following a Valbuena free kick.

With 15 minutes remaining, Inter made their breakthrough just as their build-up was at its most stagnant.

A corner was not cleared properly, and after some pinball in the box, Milito scrambled home from close range.

Inter made the more pressing case to get the game’s second goal, with Esteban Cambiasso squandering a great chance, but it was some miserable defending from the hosts that allowed Brandao to score.

The forward drifted in unnoticed to prod the ball past Julio Cesar and into the net, destroying Inter's chances of progression, and sending the visiting bench into raptures.

Pazzini’s 96th minute penalty was ultimately joyless, beating Gennaro Bracigliano who had come on for the dismissed Steve Mandanda, but there was no time even to kick off again as Marseille went through on away goals.

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Info

Competition
UEFA Champions League
Date
13 March 2012
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
2 - 1
On aggregate
2 - 2
Venue
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (Milano)
Attendance
62632

Goals

D. Milito 75'
(assist by G. Pazzini) 
1 - 0
1 - 1
90'+2 Brandão
 (assist by S. Mandanda)
G. Pazzini (PG) 90'+6  
2 - 1

Lineups

# Player Bookings
1
6
4 24'
13
25 53'
55
10
5 90'
18
9
22 75'
Coach: C. Ranieri
# Player Bookings
30 68' 90+3'
15
21 67'
2
3
4
18
17
28
11
20
Coach: D. Deschamps

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
7 90+6'
20
19
12
23
28
37
# Player Bookings
7
9 90+2'
1
12
13
23
24

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20:41
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