Marseille 2 Bolton Wanderers 1 (Marseille win 2-1 on agg.)
By Ken Gaunt
TAL BEN HAIM was left cursing his luck as Bolton exited the UEFA Cup after losing in Marseille last night.
The Israel captain steered the ball into his own net after 68 minutes following a cross from Habib Beye.
Yet Bolton had taken the lead in this second leg of the last 32 through Stelios Giannakopoulos, only for Franck Ribery to pull Marseille level.
Bolton assistant manager Sammy Lee admitted the time of Marseille’s first goal was particularly disappointing. "We controlled the first 44 minutes and quietened the crowd," Lee said.
"To concede the goal right on half-time was disappointing. To the lads’ credit they kept at it and it was unfortunate we conceded another goal.
"We are disappointed, after being in a winning position, to lose the game. But this isn’t the end of the journey, this is the start.
"We still have a lot of football to play, starting with Fulham at the weekend."
Bolton almost got off to a perfect start in front of a hostile
when Jay-Jay Okocha’ s free-kick took a deflection off the wall but goalkeeper Fabien Barthez managed to parry the ball to safety.
Bolton made the breakthrough after 25 minutes following a mistake by Barthez.
There seemed to be little danger when Okocha launched the ball forward but Barthez, under no pressure, flapped at the ball and Giannakopoulos steered it into an empty net.
Marseille certainly looked edgy and nervous in front of their home fans, although they continued to be dangerous on the break and Lorik Cana found the side netting from an acute angle in a quick breakaway.
Wilson Oruma then rattled in a shot from 20 yards that was parried by Jaaskelainen before Faye found the net for Bolton only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.
Marseille drew level in first-half stoppage-time when Ribery got in front of Stelios to head the ball home.
Marseille were beginning to knock the ball around in the second half but Bolton were still in the driving seat with that away goal.
However, Ribery was becoming increasingly influential and the game was beginning to run away from Bolton.
Marseille went ahead in the 68th minute when Ben Haim steered the ball into his own net following a cross from Beye.
It was Marseille who looked like adding to their tally with Oruma and Nasri both sending shots wide of the post late on.
Bolton continued to push forward but could not get their vital goal.
MARSEILLE: Barthez, Taiwo, Ferreira (Deruda 66), Dehu, Meite, Beye, Oruma, Cana (Civelli 90), Nasri, Ribery (Cantareil 80), Niang.
BOLTON: Jaaskelainen, N’Gotty, Gardner, O’Brien, Ben Haim, Nolan, Speed (Vaz Te 84), Giannakopoulos, Okocha, Faye (Pedersen 73), Davies, Pedersen (Borgetti 87).
Referee: Massimo Busacca.