PSV revive last 16 hopes
PSV Eindhoven kick-started their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 win over Marseille
By Pete Oliver
Last Updated: 22/10/08 10:34pm
PSV Eindhoven revived their flagging qualification hopes as two headed goals from Danny Koevermans gave them a comfortable 2-0 victory over Marseille and their first points in Group D of the UEFA Champions League.
The Dutch champions missed a host of chances before Koevermans scored twice in 14 second-half minutes to leave Marseille bottom of the table and facing a fight even to make it into the Uefa Cup.
PSV had conceded three goals in each of their previous two group games but after surviving a couple of early scares easily kept Marseille at bay as the French club, managed by former Eindhoven European Cup winner Eric Gerets, slumped to a sixth straight defeat in the competition.
PSV had not tasted victory in the Champions League themselves for almost a year but Dutch international Koevermans put that right as he scored after 71 and 85 minutes.
Eindhoven should have gone in front after just six minutes but Belgian under-21 international Stijn Wuytens scooped his shot over the bar from six yards out following a fine cross from Otman Bakkal.
Bakkal also had a great chance to give the home side the lead but even though he located the target after getting a lucky bounce in the penalty area from Francisco Rodriguez's long ball forward he allowed Steve Mandanda to make a fine save.
Marseille were fortunate to survive on both occasions but did have spells on top before the break when they enjoyed plenty of possession.
Clear sights of goal proved elusive for the French side but striker Mamadou Niang should have done better with an early header when he was left unmarked from a Karim Ziani corner and headed tamely at goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson.
Former Lyon winger Hatem Ben Arfa forced Isaksson into a more difficult save with a low swerving shot but the former Manchester City goalkeeper had little else to do.
Aware of the need to force a victory, PSV upped their game at the start of the second half only to be let down by some woeful finishing.
Their poor goalscoring record found them out as Ibrahim Afellay was guilty of a terrible miss within a minute of the re-start.
The Holland under-21 international has scored five goals in his last five games in the Dutch league but had gone 17 Champions League games without scoring and it was easy to see why as he missed a near open goal from Bakkal's perfect low cross.
Marseille's left flank was always vulnerable and twice Edison Mendez got in crosses which should have led to an overdue opening goal from Wuytens before Koevermans saw his header tipped over the bar by Mandanda.
But Eindhoven's pressure did finally pay off with 19 minutes left when Koevermans broke the deadlock, powerfully heading home a corner from Wuytens.
The big striker boasts a prolific career record and he was on target again five minutes from time when Mendez once more delivered from the right and he got in front of Ronald Zubar to steer a diving header past Mandanda.
Dirk Marcellis could then have added a late third but was denied by Mandanda.
|PSV Eindhoven||Team Statistics||Marseille|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||4|
|6||Shots off Target||5|