Konrad de la Fuente finally opened his scoring account for Marseille as they easily advanced, while Cameron Carter Vickers was mercifully given a rest in Celtic’s listless loss in Norway.
Qarabag Agdam 0 – 3 Olympique Marseille (agg. 1-6)
Already holding a 3-1 advantage after the first leg in France, Olympique Marseille made easy work of Azerbaijanis Qarabag Agdam to advance to the final 16 of the Europa Conference League.
Konrad de la Fuente was dropped to OM’s bench after starting the first leg, however made an impact in his seven minute cameo, netting the team’s third goal.
Needing only to avoid disaster in order to secure their spot in the final 16, Marseille surged into the lead after 13 minutes when Dimitri Payet fed Pape Gueye with a slick pass into the left side of the area. The Senegalese international advanced towards the endline and fired a low, tight-angled shot that bounced off the far upright and back over the line for the 1-0 advantage.
They added another 13 minutes from full-time, with Payet again serving as provider. This time he picked out Matteo Guendouzi in the middle, around 25 yards out, for a powerful shot that left the Qarabag keeper no chance.
de la Fuente finally got his drink of water in the 83rd minute, coming on for Ahmadou Bamba Dieng, and put a cap on the game in the final seconds of injury time, with his first goal in the Marseille uniform since arriving last summer.
Cengiz Ünder was the architect this time, beating several Qarabag defenders to weave from the right sideline to the center of the park, before he threaded the needle with fantastic through-ball between several more defenders. The American was lurking just to the left of the crowd, ran onto the ball with no defender around, and beat the keeper with a low shot from just inside the area to the lower left corner for the final 3-0 score.
Marseille await the result of Friday’s draw to find out their opponent in the final 16, which will be one of the eight first-place teams from the group stage.
In the meantime, de la Fuente and his teammates will try to solidify their second-place standing in Ligue 1 when they visit Troyes on Sunday.
Richard Ledezma was not in uniform for PSV Eindhoven as their 1-1 draw at Maccabi Tel Aviv saw them through to the final 16 of the competition with an aggregate 2-1 victory.
Cameron Carter-Vickers was left on the bench as Celtic rolled over for Norwegians Bodø/Glimt, losing 2-0 in the away leg to crash out of the competition on a 5-1 aggregate. The well-rested American will surely be back in the action on Sunday when they try to solidify their lead in the Scottish Premiership on their visit to Hibs.