Joao Pedro exquisitely finished a fine team move in the dying moments as Brighton beat Marseille and went through to the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League as winners of Group B.
Hungry for the win they needed, Brighton began the match on the front foot. The first half at the Amex saw Brighton penetrate the Marseille midfield, proactively piecing together stylish passing moves, and dominating possession.
The home side nevertheless struggled to create any clear-cut chances, and their six shots, three on target, did not pose ant real threat to the away goal.
It was in fact Marseille who came closest in the first 45. Jonathan Clauss’ shot from distance picked up a wicked deflection from Pascal Gross, to send it looping over Brighton keeper Jason Steele. Fortunately for the home fans, who held their breath, the ball came down onto the bar before bouncing down where it could be cleared to safety.
In the second Marseille again hit the woodwork, as Amine Harit poked a close-range shot past Brighton keeper Jason Steele, which hit the foot of the left post and almost deflected back into the goal.
Brighton continued to press but were running out of options and seemed to be playing a pass too many each time in the final third.
But then Gross played a perfectly weighted ball to meet an immaculately timed run by Joao Pedro, who smashed past the Marseille goalkeeper, causing the home fans to erupt.
Marseille couldn’t respond and will head to the play-offs as their possible route to the last 16.
Sophie Anderson, a UK-based writer, is your guide to the latest trends, viral sensations, and internet phenomena. With a finger on the pulse of digital culture, she explores what’s trending across social media and pop culture, keeping readers in the know about the latest online sensations.
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