Marseille stun RB Leipzig to reach semis after topsy-turvy tie
The French side scored three goals inside the first nine minutes.
Marseille stunned RB Leipzig 4-2 in a thrilling Europa League quarter-final second leg at the Orange Velodrome on Thursday evening to secure a 4-3 aggregate victory.
The visitors, 1-0 up from the first game in Germany, looked to have put the tie to bed when Bruma netted the vital away goal within two minutes.
But Stefan Ilsanker’s own goal and a Bouna Sarr strike got Marseille in front in a whirlwind start – it was the first time three goals had been scored in the first nine minutes of a match in this competition’s history.
It got better for the hosts when Florian Thauvin made it 3-1 before half-time and, after Jean-Kevin Augustin had briefly got Leipzig back in the box seat, Dimitri Payet’s excellent curling effort on the hour mark got Marseille back in front.
Birthday boy Hiroki Sakai then rounded off the scoring in stoppage time to complete a memorable comeback.
Leipzig headed into the second leg on the back on a 4-1 Bundesliga thumping at home to Bayer Leverkusen, but they enjoyed the perfect start in southern France.
Naby Keita surged down the right and squared for Augustin, who turned neatly and supplied the pass for Bruma to lash a low shot past Yohann Pele to give the visitors a crucial away goal inside two minutes.
That looked to have killed the tie, but OM had other ideas.
Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi attempted to push away a corner but a deflection off Ilsanker diverted it back over the line and got Rudi Garcia’s side level in the sixth minute.
Three minutes later the hosts were ahead on the night, when Sarr was on hand to fire in after Morgan Sanson had twice been frustrated by Gulacsi following Payet’s superb pass.
Marseille thought they had made it 3-1 on 17 minutes, but Payet’s brilliant 25-yard left-footed drive into the top corner was ruled out for a needless foul by Kostas Mitroglou on Ilsanker in the build-up.
Sarr was forced to leave the action due to injury before the half-hour mark, and he was replaced by Adil Rami.
The change did not overly disrupt OM’s flow, however, and the third goal arrived seven minutes before half-time courtesy of Thauvin when the winger found space and prodded Payet’s inviting free-kick past Gulacsi from six yards.
Gulacsi made another fine double save early in the second half from Mitroglou and then Jordan Amavi.
Greece forward Mitroglou passed up a great chance to make it 4-1 when he sent his effort narrowly wide of the far post having beaten the offside trap.
Those Marseille misses early in the second half looked to have proved costly when Augustin curled in a right-footed shot following a slick back-heeled set-up from Keita in the 55th minute.
But once again the French side refused to lie down and got their noses in front again on the hour mark when Payet latched onto Thauvin’s ball and danced into the area before curling an exquisite strike into the top corner with the outside of his right foot.
The visitors threw everything forward in the closing stages but could not find another goal.
Marseille put the cherry on the cake in the fourth and final minute of stoppage time when they broke quickly from a Leipzig corner and Sakai – on his 28th birthday – rolled into the empty net from long range.