Champions League

Napoli keep Marseille pointless

2013-10-22 23:23
Napoli celebrate (AFP)

Marseille - Napoli have beaten Marseille 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday, goals in either half from Jose Callejon and Duvan Zapata doing the damage with Andre Ayew getting a late consolation for the French hosts.

WRAP: Champions League

Their second Group F win kept Napoli's hopes alive of qualifying for the knockout stages, Rafael Benitez's side joint top on six points along with Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund.

For Marseille this third consecutive loss left them staring at no European football after the group stage with even the Europa League for finishing third in the group an unlikely prospect.

It was virtually all Napoli in the first half, with Marseille captain Steve Mandanda far the busier of the two keepers.

His opposite number, Pepe Reina, was called into action for the first time after the half hour mark when Souleymane Diawara rose to meet Dimitri Payet's corner only to head the ball straight at Reina.

Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain, on his 50th Champions League game, had a major part in Napoli's 42nd minute opener.

Higuain, playing in the country of his birth, sent the ball over the Marseille defence to find Callejon on the left of the area.

The Spaniard, who joined Napoli from Real Madrid in the close season, chested the ball before rounding his marker to drill home right-footed past Mandanda.

As their defence held firm Napoli sealed the win in the 67th minute, when Dries Mertens with a deft touch found Zapata, the second half substitute's dipping shot flying over Mandanda's head.

The 22-year-old had been a target of Premier League side West Ham this summer, but the striker eventually elected to join Napoli from Colombian outfit Estudiantes.

Forced on the attack Marseille pulled one back four minutes from time with Ayew's 25 metre strike, the Ghanian forward set up by his brother Jordan.

Read more on:    marseille  |  napoli  |  champions league  |  soccer
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