A Duje Caleta-Car howler meant that Cyriel Dessers’ brace gave Feyenoord a 3-2 victory against Olympique de Marseille’s in the UEFA Europa Conference League at De Kuip.
Feyenoord started off well, and were able to hold off Marseille’s early pressure. As the hosts grew into the game, they continuously were able to get behind Marseille’s back line with balls from above.
Their first goal came when Luis Sinisterra received the ball, and backheeled it to teammate Dessers, who was able to slot it past Steve Mandanda and score.
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The hosts’ second came two minutes later with another long ball over the top to Reiss Nelson. He passed to Sinisterra, whose first tine shot took a deflection into the net.
After scoring twice, the hosts seemed to take their foot off the gas, allowing Marseille back into the match. Bamba Dieng, who had earlier scuffed two big chances, got his side back in it by scoring an absolute rocket from outside the box, with the spin on the ball giving Ofir Marciano no chance.
The equaliser came in the 40th minute when Marciano spilled Matteo Guendouzi’s cross, straight to Gerson who hammered it into the net.
Ten seconds after the whistle to start the second half, Caleta-Car made an awfully silly mistake. He attempted to pass the ball to his keeper, but it was extremely short, allowing Dessers to pounce and score his second of the night, giving Feyenoord the lead again.
The end of the second half consisted of the home side trying to calm play down, while Marseille attempted everything to try and find a third goal. They had several chances near the end from Dimitri Payet but Marciano, who made seven saves, stood firm and ensured his side go into the second leg with the advantage.
Before the two sides meet next week, Feyenoord will visit Fortuna Sittard as they look to finish third in the Eredivisie, while Marseille will host Lyon in their bid to finish second in Ligue 1.

TALKING POINT: MARSEILLE EXTREMELY SLOPPY

Marseille came into this match as slight favourites. They’re in better form, and have performed better in their harder league. However, all season their style of play has been high risk, high reward. And today it did not pay off.
The only thing the visitors seemed to get right today was their offside trap, catching their opponents seven times off their line. Other than that, their backline was hilariously targeted by Dessers, Sinisterra, and Nelson. Their midfield was consistently overrun by Orkun Kokcu, and their forward players struggled to take their chances. Feyenoord weren't particularly amazing today, and that will hurt most for Marseille fans, as the Dutch side were there for the taking.
The good news is that despite all this, they scored two goals. Playing at home next week against a Feyenoord who will be attempting to protect their lead may be advantageous. They need to do better in their overall play though.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: CYRIEL DESSERS

The striker took control of the game putting his side 1-0 up, and then getting them back into it by cleverly capitalising on Marseille’s mistakes. Outside of his five shots (three of which were on target) he was key in holding up the ball, using linking up play, and pressing from the front. He nearly got his hat-trick before being subbed off to thunderous applause and cheers from the home fans in the 82nd minute.

PLAYER RATINGS

FEYENOORD: Marciano 8, Geertruida 6, Trauner 6, Senesi 6, Malacia 7, Til 7, Aursnes 7, Kokcu 8, Nelson 7, Dessers 9, Sinisterra 8... Subs: Pedersen N/A, Jahanbakhsh 5, Hendrix 6, Linssen 6.
MARSEILLE: Mandanda 6, Rongier 5, Saliba 5, Caleta-Car 3, Peres 4, Guendouzi 6, Kamara 6, Gerson 7, Bakambu 6, Payet 7, Bamba Dieng 6... Subs: Harit 5, Gueye 5, Lirola 5, Milik 5.
Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

18’ - GOAL! FEYENOORD 1-0 MARSEILLE: Huge goal! Dessers missed an earlier opportunity, but he's now scored his 16th of the season, and 10th in Europe. He takes it well after getting past the defence and pokes it home.
20’ - GOAL! FEYENOORD 2-0 OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE: That was fast! Sinisterra gets the hosts' second from a counter. A ball over the top for Nelson means Marseille get caught out. He passes it in the box to Sinisterra, whose shot takes a deflection off Rongier. Dream start for the hosts. Horror show for the visitors.
28’ - GOAL! FEYENOORD 2-1 OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE: That's certainly against the run of play. Bamba Dieng missed two somewhat easy chances, and has just gone on to score a lash of a shot from right outside the box. The swerve of the ball catches out Marciano at the near post. Wow! What a game!
40’ - GOAL! FEYENOORD 2-2 OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE: Four goals in forty mins!!! Gerson gets the equaliser after the initial cross into the box is spilled by the keeper. Yikes!
46’ - GOAL! FEYENOORD 3-2 OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE: What just happened???!!! 10 seconds into the second half, and the hosts are ahead. Dessers scores his second of the night, as there is a HUGE mistake from Calera-Carr basically passes it to his opponent. I cannot believe it.

KEY STATS

Feyenoord have scored 3+ goals in each of their last five European games, only Ajax have done this in more consecutive European knockout games (6 in a row in 1972-73) [Opta]
This was Marseille's seventh semi-final in a European competition, a feat that no other French club has achieved.
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