A strong Marseille side travelled to Spain knowing a win would leave them top of the group with a guaranteed place in the final stages. This however proved to be no easy feat against an Athletic Club side that have yet to concede at home in the tournament.
The Spanish side came out fighting and Marseille were immediately put on the back foot. As the game progressed Athletic Club began to assert more and more domination and were it not for some first-class defending they could have been several goals up in the first twenty minutes.
After forty-five minutes Marseille had not managed a shot on target, and could perhaps count themselves lucky to go in at the break level.
Athletic came out for the second half in the same spirit, and got their reward through a Santamaria goal on fifty-eight minutes. This spurred the side on and they got their second just over five minutes later.
Marseille’s young forward Yousfi then picked up his second booking of the game and they were down to ten men. Despite the talent in their team there was nothing they, or many teams for that matter, could do about the attacking onslaught they then faced.
A triple substitution in the dying stages could do little to help the French side, and after an unfortunate own goal in the final minute the teams left San Mamès 5 – 0. Whatever their further results Athletic will now leave the group stages with an impressive home record of nine scored without reply in just three games!
The result leaves Group 6 completely open, as all four sides could still qualify. All will depend on Club Athletic’s final two big games away to Arsenal and Olympiacos in early December. Click here to see how the table now stands.