Marseille - Borussia Dortmund finished top of UEFA Champions League Group F, courtesy of a last-gasp 2-1 win away to ten-man Olympique de Marseille.
In a fitting conclusion to an edge-of-the-seat encounter, hometown hero Kevin Großkreutz grabbed the decisive goal, adding to Robert Lewandowski’s first-half opener after Marseille, who levelled through Souleymane Diawara, had had Dimitri Payet sent off.
Needing a win to be absolutely sure of qualification, Jürgen Klopp’s Dortmund got off to the best possible start as Poland international striker Lewandowski took on Erik Durm’s well-weighted pass, shook off the attention of Lucas Mendes and dinked over the advancing Steve Mandanda to make it 1-0.
Marseille had offered little, but were back on level terms in the 13th minute when Diawara headed home from two yards out, with Saber Khalifa’s initial effort coming back off the crossbar after Roman Weidenfeller had been caught in no-man’s land attempting to get a hand to Payet’s teasing free kick.
Payet was in the thick of things 20 minutes later, albeit for all the wrong reasons. A rash challenge on Jakub Blaszczykowski preceded a blatant act of simulation in the Dortmund box, leaving Croatian referee Marijo Strahonja no option but to show the midfielder a second yellow card.
BVB had managerless Marseille right where they wanted them, but the ball simply would not drop for the rampant visitors early in the second half as Mandanda swatted Blaszczykowski’s bullet header off the goalline, before the hitherto subdued Marco Reus smashed a fierce effort against the foot of the post.
All hail Großkreutz
The hex on the hosts’ goal continued to get the better of Dortmund, with Lewandowski pouncing on Diawara’s sloppy back pass and slicing into the side netting, despite rounding Mandanda. Reus could do no better, the Germany international stabbing substitute midfielder Jonas Hofmann’s cross well wide of the target.
As news of a goal in Naples filtered through, Dortmund summoned one final push, with local boy Großkreutz bundling home Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s pass to book his side’s place in the last 16 alongside Bundesliga roommates FC Bayern München, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Schalke 04.
Marseille: Mandanda - Fanni, Diawara, Mendes (Abdallah 46’), Mendy - Lemina, Cheyrou – Khalifa (Morel 54’), Thauvin (Imbula 79’), Payet - Gignac
Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Großkreutz, Sarr, Sokratis, Durm - Sahin, Kehl (Piszczek 77’) – Blaszczykowski (Hofmann 65’), Mkhitaryan, Reus (Schieber 77’) – Lewandowski
Goals: 1-0 Lewandowski (4’), 1-1 Diawara (13’), 2-1 Großkreutz (86’)
Red card: Payet (33’)