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Brandao sends Marseille through

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13 Mar 2012 22:17:01

Brandao sends Marseille through

A wild finish at the San Siro saw Marseille knock Inter Milan out of the Champions League on away goals (2-2 on aggregate) to reach the quarter-finals and pile even more pressure on the beleaguered Claudio Ranieri.

Inter spurned glorious early chances but Diego Milito's scrappy 75th-minute goal appeared enough to force extra-time at least.

But Brandao then scored a goal from nothing in the second minute of stoppage time, and even though there was a further twist when Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda fouled Giampaolo Pazzini, earning a second yellow card and allowing the Italy international to give Inter a 2-1 victory on the night, boss Ranieri's side went out.

Inter who wasted golden chances as they showed all the signs of a team short on confidence. Javier Zanetti ran to the byline, and his cut-back was deflected by Souleymane Diawara perfectly into the path of Wesley Sneijder, but as the whole stadium expected the see the net bulge, the Dutchman's shot hit Diawara and found its way to Mandanda.

Milito then had an even easier chance moments later as he broke clear to meet Dejan Stankovic's cross just feet from goal, but the Argentinian inexplicably tried to chest it in and sent the ball straight into the goalkeeper's waiting arms.

Inter's task became harder just before the hour mark when Sneijder was withdrawn with a shake of the head, apparently suffering some kind of injury, while Pazzini replaced the largely ineffective Diego Forlan.

Marseille could have killed Inter off in the 71st minute when Julio Cesar did well to get down and block Diawara's header on the line.

The breakthrough finally came 15 minutes from time, but it was far from pretty. Marseille failed to clear a corner, and after Walter Samuel prodded the ball back into the danger zone. Pazzini somehow failed to finish from four yards, but when the ball came back to Milito he tucked it away from close range.

Extra-time looked a certainty, but Mandanda's huge punt upfield fell for Brandao, in somewhat unorthodox fashion off the striker's back, but it was enough for him to break free and rifle the ball past Cesar.

That should have been that, but Mandanda then brought down Pazzini in the area, earning a second caution and a dismissal after a yellow card for timewasting. Pazzini lashed home the penalty, but it was the last kick of the game as Inter crashed out.


PA

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