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Europa League

Feyenoord 3-2 Marseille

Cyriel Dessers scored twice as Feyenoord edged an absorbing Europa Conference League semi-final against Marseille, claiming a 3-2 first-leg success at De Kuip.

Dessers and Luis Sinisterra netted within three frantic first-half minutes.

But Bamba Dieng and Gerson led a rapid Marseille comeback as a terrific first half ended level.

But a dire back-pass from Duje Caleta-Car allowed Dessers to grab his brace immediately after the break as the hosts re-established their advantage.

Arne Slot’s men will now take a slender lead to Southern France for next week’s second leg as they aim for a first European final appearance since 2002.

Dieng missed two glorious one-on-one chances for Marseille early on, side-footing straight at Ofir Marciano after eight minutes, before dragging another poor finish wide after 13 minutes.

Marseille was punished when Dessers poked the hosts into the lead after latching onto Sinisterra’s flick in the 18th minute and went two down when Sinisterra swept Reiss Nelson’s cut-back beyond Steve Mandanda via a fortunate deflection just three minutes later.

But the visitors halved the arrears when Dieng stuck a fierce long-range effort into the bottom-right corner after 28 minutes and found themselves level when Gerson stabbed home after Marciano spilt a cross shortly before the break.

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Feyenoord 3-2 Marseille

Marseille fell behind just nine seconds into the second half when Dessers intercepted Caleta-Car’s dreadful back-pass before rounding Mandanda and tapping home.

Caleta-Car almost gifted the hosts a fourth when he passed straight to Byran Linssen after an hour.

Only for the substitute to drag his right-footed shot wide.

Mandanda denied Dessers his hat-trick after 75 minutes before Dieng shot straight at Marciano.

When left unmarked late on, as Feyenoord put one foot in the final.

What does it mean? Feyenoord edge thriller to move closer to final

Feyenoord’s thrilling victory moved them one step closer to adding to their storied history in European competitions and preserved their unbeaten record in the Conference League (eight wins, three draws this season).

The Dutch outfit, who have one European Cup and two UEFA Cups to their name, will need to maintain that record in France to make the final.

Marseille gets just Dessers after a poor display.

A calamitous defensive showing from Marseille was exploited ruthlessly by Dessers.

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Feyenoord 3-2 Marseille

He opened the scoring before putting Feyenoord back in front just seconds after the break.

Dessers has now scored ten goals in the Conference League this season, more than any other player in the competition.

Meanwhile, he has set a new record for goals scored by a Feyenoord player in a European campaign.

Marseille fails to make history.

Sampaoli’s team came into this contest as favourites after winning seven consecutive games in the Conference League. As a result, it could have become the first French team to record eight successive European wins (excluding qualifiers).

However, Caleta-Car’s costly error summed up the visitors’ poor defensive performance and saw them fall short of that landmark achievement.

What’s next? 

Feyenoord faces an Eredivisie trip to Fortuna Sittard on Sunday ahead of next week’s second leg.

Meanwhile, Marseille hosted Lyon in Ligue 1 on the same day.

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Feyenoord 3-2 Marseille

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