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Frankfurt edge closer to last 16 with Marseille win

Eintracht Frankfurt edged closer to qualifying for the Champions League knockouts for the first time, defeating Marseille 2-1 at home on Wednesday. 

Goals from Japan’s Daichi Kamada and striker Randal Kolo Muani before the break helped Frankfurt, who are playing their inaugural Champions League season, notch their maiden home win in the competition. 

Spurred on by a packed stadium, Frankfurt started the game furiously and had the ball in the back of the net before the fog of the pre-game pyrotechnics had cleared. 

Frankfurt broke down the right side, with Evan Ndicka hockeying a low cross across the face of goal. 

Shaping to shoot, Jesper Lindstroem hopped over the ball, leaving it for an unmarked Kagawa to score his tenth goal in all competitions this season. 

Lindstroem provided Frankfurt with a chance to double their lead 15 minutes later when he slid the ball through to put Christopher Lenz one-on-one with keeper Pau Lopez, but the Spanish goalkeeper kept the ball out. 

Marseille hit back almost immediately, with Matteo Guendouzi slamming in a perfect curling cross from Congolese defender Chancel Mbemba. 

Frankfurt answered with a goal of their own, with Goetze laying on a pinpoint chip for Randal Kolo Muani to score his first Champions League goal. 

If the first half belonged to Frankfurt’s attacking trident of Kamada, Goetze and Kolo Muani, the second stanza was a showcase of goalkeeper Kevin Trapp’s talents. 

The former Paris Saint-Germain keeper kept his side in the game after the break, with fingertip saves in the 50th and 58th minutes maintaining Frankfurt’s one-goal advantage. 

Tottenham’s 1-1 draw against Sporting means Frankfurt will need to beat the Portuguese side in Lisbon next Tuesday to qualify. 

The equation is similar for 1993 Champions League winners Marseille, who need to defeat Tottenham at home next Tuesday to qualify for the knockouts. 

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