MX23RW : Wednesday, September 19 21:00:50
Oct 22, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Stade Velodrome
Ayew (86')
Cheyrou (45'), Payet (46'), Ayew (88')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Callejon (42'), Zapata (67')

Live Commentary: Marseille 1-2 Napoli - as it happened

Marseille hosted Napoli in Group F of the Champions League as both teams looked to recover from league defeats.

Marseille went in search of their first point in the Champions League this season on Tuesday evening when they hosted Napoli at the Stade Velodrome.

It was the visitors who broke the deadlock when Jose Callejon fired past a helpless Steve Mandanda in the 42nd minute.

Napoli extended their lead in the second half thanks to substitute Duvan Zapata's curled effort and Rafael Benitez's side were able to hold on for the victory, despite a late strike from Andre Ayew.

Read below to find out how the drama unfolded.

6.45pmGood evening everyone. Arsenal have made a brilliant start in Group F and look favourites to qualify right now. Can Marseille or Napoli apply some pressure tonight? Stay with me to find out.

6.48pmMarseille have struggled so far in the competition and head into their third game without a point on the board. Napoli beat Borussia Dortmund in their first match before being defeated by the in-form Gunners earlier this month.

6.50pmMARSEILLE: Mandanda, Fanni, Diawara, N'Koulou, Morel, Romao, Cheyrou, Payet, Valbuena, A.Ayew, Gignac

SUBSTITUTES: Samba, Abdallah, Mendy, Lemina, Imbula, J.Ayew, Thauvin

6.53pmThe main change for Marseille from the 1-0 loss to Nice is Benoit Cheyrou replacing Giannelli Imbula for the hosts.

6.55pmNAPOLI: Reina, Maggio, Fernandez, Albiol, Armero, Behrami, Inler, Callejon, Hamsik, Mertens, Higuain

SUBSTITUTES: Cabral, Cannavaro, Mesto, Dzemaili, Pandev, Insignia, Zapata

6.58pmThe good news for Napoli is that Gonzalo Higuain returns from injury to start for the visitors. Juan Zuniga and Miguel Britos are both absent due to injury problems of their own but it looks like a strong team put out by Rafael Benitez.

7.02pmNapoli lost their first game in Serie A on the weekend when fellow fast starters Roma claimed a 2-0 victory. That defeat would have hurt Benitez's men but they cannot afford to not bring their best tonight.

7.04pmThere's certainly a good group of players in Naples at the moment. Benitez is blessed with brilliant options in attack and the visitors could do a lot of damage on the counter attack this evening.

7.07pmMarseille have lost their last three games in all competitions. Elie Baup's hopes of leading his team to qualification will look like a dream if they lose once again this evening.

7.10pmThe hosts are currently fifth in Ligue 1 and head into this match bottom of Group F. Can they produce a big performance this evening? They certainly need one.

7.12pmArsenal are hosting Borussia Dortmund in the other game in Group F this evening. That game promises to bee an intriguing one and if you want to follow updates from the Emirates Stadium, you can join Matt Domm - Arsenal vs. Dortmund

7.16pmPREDICTION: I'll make a fool of myself now and get it out of the way. Napoli suffered that disappointing loss on the weekend but I reckon they've got enough quality to beat the hosts tonight. 2-1 to Napoli.

7.19pmIf you're looking for tips tonight, I wouldn't trust my prediction. I haven't got too many right yet this season. We're under 30 minutes away from action at the Stade Velodrome.

7.23pmA victory for Napoli tonight could be very important. The Italian club would be on six points and depending on what happens at the Emirates Stadium, they could be level on points with the group leaders later tonight.

7.26pmA sign of Napoli's strength in depth tonight is that both Goran Pandev and Lorenzo Insigne begin the game on the bench. They are very good players to have at your disposal later in the game.

7.29pmHiguain has reportedly fully recovered from a thigh injury. He's on of the continent's top strikers when he is in form and his performance will be vital this evening.

7.33pmThe attacking quartet of Mathieu Valbuena, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Andre Ayew and Dimitri Payet looks dangerous but things just haven't clicked for Marseille in recent weeks. However, those four could help the host cause problems for a patched up Napoli defence.

7.35pmThe atmosphere is already building at the Stade Velodrome. It really is a great ground for Champions League football.

7.39pmBoth teams have entered the tunnel. These two clubs face each other twice over the next couple of the weeks. Marseille need to kick start their European campaign. Napoli will be looking to keep the pressure on Arsenal. The action is just moments away.

7.43pmThe final preparations have been made and the noise is incredible inside the ground. We could be in for a very exciting evening. Just the handshakes left before the game gets underway.

7.46pmWe're a bit slow to get underway at the Stade Velodrome but both teams are ready now. Napoli get the game started.

1 minIt's a bit of a frantic start from both sides. Marseille win the ball after a sloppy spell of football but there's no attacking intent yet.

2 minMertens collects the ball on the left before cutting inside to win a foul from Payet, whose challenge was poor.

3 minSAVE! Mertens strikes the free kick towards the bottom corner but Mandanda does superbly to push the ball away. Excellent goalkeeping.

4 minHow important could that save be? Marseille cannot afford to fall behind early tonight.

6 minMarseille have been wasteful in possession in the first few minutes. Napoli aim to take advantage when Mertens and Higuain break quickly bu the latter's final delivery is poor.

8 minThe visitors have shown a good positive attitude in the early stages. Inler an Behrami are pushing high up the pitch to limit the space in midfield. Good signs for Benitez.

9 minSHOT! Hamsik finds Mertens on the edge of the box but the Belgian fails to hit the target with a wild swing of the boot.

10 minMertens does brilliantly to hold off a couple of challenges on the left wing but he cannot pick out a teammate after creating some space for himself inside the box. At the other end, Reina responds well to collect a cross before it can cause any danger.

11 minLovely football from the visitors. Mertens is involved once again but Hamsik's charge into the box is stopped when Higuain is punished for being off side earlier in the move.

12 minCLOSE! Marseille aren't far away from taking the lead when Cheyrou strikes Morel's cross just wide from 10 yards out.

14 minSHOT! Armero sprints 60 yards to collect a pass inside the box but he drills his effort into the side netting with Higuain waiting in the middle.

16 minNeither side are holding back. Napoli perhaps look the more dangerous of the two teams but the fans are seeing action at both ends of the pitch.

17 minNapoli clear a corner to the edge of the box, where Cheyrou fails to keep an optimistic effort down.

18 minSHOT! Payet frustrates his teammates when he chooses to shoot from 35 yards and fires the ball well wide of the target.

20 minN'Koulou dispossesses Higuain at a vital point just as the striker had threatened to unleash a shot inside the box. Great defending.

22 minNapoli are beginning to control possession in midfield, while Marseille are being forced to play much longer passes. Mertens is furious with the officials when he's wrongly given off side.

23 minDiawara brings a promising Napoli move to an abrupt halt when he chops down Higuain. The defender is very lucky not to be booked for that challenge.

25 minMarseille are struggling to retain possession in advanced positions. Gignac, in particular, has found it very hard to get involved in the first quarter of this game.

27 minNapoli keep the ball for a very long period but the assistant referee once again intervenes when Armero receives the ball on the left wing.

29 minThe hosts enjoy a good spell and they almost create a chance when Morel's cross drops to Valbuena, who can't quite keep the ball under control inside the box.

30 minBenitez will probably be starting to get a bit annoyed about the lack of chances his side have created. They've been the better side but Mandanda has only been tested once.

32 minHamsik has his head in his hands and with good reason. Napoli break in numbers but the captain fails to complete a routine pass to Higuain, who was in acres of space.

33 minCHANCE! Morel advances down the left wing before clipping a ball towards Gignac, who wins a corner when his effort is deflected wide. Reina makes a good save from the corner that follows.

34 minCHANCE! Dreadful miss from Higuain! Napoli once again break at pace and Mertens slides an easy pass to the former Real Madrid striker, who drags his shot wide of the target from inside the box. He can't believe he's missed that opportunity.

36 minInler needs some treatment in the middle of the park when he collides with Ayew in the middle of the park. Benitez takes the opportunity to shout some instructions at some of his players.

37 minThe game resumes and it's Napoli who once again take control in midfield. They've been impressive off the ball tonight but they must take their next chance.

39 minNapoli pile on the pressure once again. Hamsik threatens to break free inside the box but he can't keep the ball under control. The visitors win their first corner and Marseille are forced to clear the danger at the second time of asking.

40 minSHOT! Valbuena receives the ball on the left wing before cutting in and curling a shot straight into Reina's arms.

41 minIn the other game in Group F, Arsenal are currently level at 1-1 with Borussia Dortmund.


43 minSuperb goal. Callejon controls a long ball from Higuain beautifully to fool Fanni on the left side of the box before drilling a low effort into the bottom corner. Napoli take a deserved lead.

44 minYELLOW CARD! Cheyrou is given the first booking of the game when he raises his foot too high in the middle of the pitch.

45 minYELLOW CARD! Awful from Payet as he catches Behrami on the shin with an ugly looking challenge. Napoli's midfielder shakes off a painful one and the game resumes.


8.36pmBenitez will be absolutely delighted with that first half display. Napoli have been the better side and should have been ahead earlier on in the game. A touch of class from Callejon made the breakthrough though and Marseille now have a mountain to climb.

8.38pmThe Marseille supporters were clearly very unhappy with their team when the referee brought the first half to a close. They expect more inside the Stade Velodrome. Marseille cannot afford to lose tonight.

8.41pmIf Higuain had been at his best, Napoli would have been further ahead. The forward might use his lack of match sharpness as an excuse for that poor miss earlier on.

8.44pmCan Marseille respond in the second half? The danger for the hosts is that Napoli have looked very dangerous on the break tonight and they'll be looking to exploit the space left behind when Marseille go in search of an equaliser.

8.47pmYou can check the latest scores from the rest of Europe here: Champions League latest

8.49pmBoth teams are back out on the pitch and Marseille are ready to get the game back underway.

46 minNapoli threaten to break through immediately in the second half but Mertens is prevented from scoring his side's second when the referee awards a free kick for a foul on Diawara.

48 minHiguain's control lets him down at a crucial moment when he's targeted by a long ball into the box. It's not quite going the forward's way yet.

49 minMarseille are once again struggling to keep possession for long enough to create any opportunities. Inler and Behrami have done a superb job of putting out any fires in midfield tonight.

51 minCLOSE! Albiol defends superbly to keep out Gignac but he does give away a corner. Reina is forced to punch the ball clear under big pressure before Payet heads over just a moments later.

53 minSUBSTITUTION: Kassim Abdallah comes on to replace Fanni, who looks to be struggling with an injury.

55 minNapoli twice appeal for a penalty. The referee decides that Diawara didn't handle the ball inside the box despite Napoli's protests. Just moments later Mertens goes down but the referee once again ignores the calls for a penalty.

56 minThe wind is beginning to cause some problems now. Napoli are responding by going slightly longer with their passes but Higuain hasn't been able to get on the end of a goal kick yet.

58 minSUBSTITUTION: Duvan Zapata is sent on to replace Higuain as Benitez looks to freshen things up in attack.

60 minNapoli decide to take a corner short but their planned route to the goal doesn't pay off as Marseille react well to clear the danger.

61 minZapata is eager to make an impact shortly after his introduction but his dangerous aerial challenge is punished. The last few minutes have been a rare quiet period in the game.

62 minNapoli are proving to be as stern at the back as they are intelligent in attack. Marseille work some space on a couple of occasions but the visiting defence easily deals with the threat.

64 minSHOT! The visitors are in charge again as they win a couple of corners in quick succession. Callejon collects the second set piece 25 yards away from goal but his effort is easily stopped by Mandanda.

66 minMandanda takes a big risk when he meets the ball outside his area to clear the danger created by a long pass from Hamsik.


67 minStunning goal from Napoli. Hamsik breaks from midfield at pace before picking out Callejon, who delays a pass to Zapata. The substitute controls before superbly curling the ball into the top corner past a helpless Mandanda. Brilliant goal.

69 minMarseille's European hopes are crashing in front of them. I just can't see Napoli allowing the host back into the match from this position.

70 minSUBSTITUTION: Payet is replaced by Florian Thauvin as Marseille desperately seek to find a way back into the contest.

72 minMarseille have kept the ball well since falling further behind but they're still being frustrated in midfield by Inler and Behrami.

73 minI'm not sure if I've ever heard the home supporters this quiet. A goal would make things interesting but the chances aren't coming at the moment.

75 minCHANCE! Thauvin has been involved quite a but since coming on. He begins a good move from the hosts but Gignac can't keep his header down and Reina watches the ball sail over the crossbar.

76 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Gignac is replaced by Jordan Ayew, while Mertens heads off to make way for Giandomenico Mesto.

78 minNapoli have dropped slightly deeper since the goal to further limit the space available to the hosts in midfield. So far, this has been a perfect away performance from Benitez's men.

79 minValbuena finds himself in some space on the left wing but his cross is just too high for Thauvin at the back post.

81 minStrange moment from Callejon. The former Real Madrid ace collects the ball on the right before hitting a speculative effort wide of the target from around 50 yards.

82 minCHANCE! Thauvin once again threatens down the right with some good skill. A cross finds Cheyrou, who fails to make meaningful contact with his shot from just inside the box.

83 minSUBSTITUTION: Hamsik's night is over as he comes off to be replaced by Lorenzo Insigne.

84 minValbuena is finding plenty of space on the left side of midfield in the latter stages of this game. Cheyrou collects a pass from his teammate in the box but he can't deliver a dangerous delivery across the six yard box.


86 minCan Marseille salvage something from this game? Ayew pulls a goal back in spectacular fashion when he fires a half volley into the bottom corner from just outside the box. Superb strike!

88 minNapoli have controlled this game but they'll be feeling nervous with two minutes plus stoppage time remaining. We're in for a frantic final few moments.

89 minYELLOW CARD! Jordan Ayew is booked when he hits Inler in the face with an outstretched arm.

90 minThe referee confirms that Napoli will have to survive for three more added minutes.

90+1 minA loose ball drops to Cheyrou, who targets the top corner from 30 yards out. However, he slices his effort and fails to worry Reina.

90+2 minMaggio and Insigne are trying to keep the ball in the corner but they've not been able to do so for a sustained period. Marseille then win a free kick in a very dangerous position and Mandanda is heading into the box.

90+3 minSuperb goalkeeping from Reina when Napoli needed it most as he comes off his line to collect the cross under big pressure.


9.39pmIt's all over at the Stade Velodrome. Napoli were forced to hang on at the end but they deservedly collect all three points. Benitez will be delighted with his team's display this evening.

9.41pmBourssia Dortmund have beaten Arsenal 2-1 in the group's other game. Marseille have still not picked up a point and their qualification hopes look to be over. Dortmund, Arsenal and Napoli are all on six points.

9.43pmGroup F looks even more intriguing than it did earlier tonight and the three top teams will all be targeting top spot. Thanks for joining me this evening. Goodnight.

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Marseille's French head coach Elie Baup reacts during the French L1 football match Nice (OGC Nice) vs Marseille (OM) on October 18, 2013
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Preview: Marseille vs. Napoli

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