MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) – Olympique de Marseille’s chances of reaching the knockout phase of the Champions League were dented when they were beaten 1-0 at home by Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday, their second defeat in as many games.
OM fell victim to a Jesper Lindstrom goal that put Europa League champions Eintracht in third place in Group D on three points.
Sporting lead with a maximum six points after beating second-placed Tottenham Hotspur 2-0.
Marseille next host Sporting while Tottenham will travel to Frankfurt in the next round of matches on Oct. 4.
Marseille enjoyed possession and dominated in the first half, until Valentin Rongier blundered a pass in the area to allow Lindstrom to fire home with a low shot two minutes before the break.
The hosts were forced to take risks in the second half and Eintracht came close to doubling their advantage when Lindstrom’s angled volley rattled the bar at the end of a quick counter-attack.
Dimitri Payet, who was handed a rare start by coach Igor Tudor, was replaced on the hour, as was Alexis Sanchez, with Cengiz Under and Luis Suarez coming in.
The substitutions spurred OM into action but Rongier missed a sitter in the 66th minute as the French side piled on the pressure.
Under got his legs tangled up in the area and wasted another golden opportunity.
Frankfurt continued to threaten, too, and Daichi Kamada’s goal after yet another counter-attack was ruled out for offside, leaving Marseille with some hope of grabbing a point.
But they lacked sharpness and were left contemplating the gap between Ligue 1, where they have won six and drawn one, and Europe’s premium club competition, in which they have now lost all their last 16 matches.
(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon)