Andre Ayew scored a 93rd minute header to give Marseille a precious 1-0 win over Inter Milan at the Stade Velodrome leaving coach Claudio Ranieri fighting for his job.
In a tight and edgy encounter, both sides struggled to muster up any significant chances as the pair clashed for the first time since their UEFA Cup meeting in 2004.
Seemingly happy to settle for a 0-0 draw with seconds on the clock remaining, visitors Inter Milan woefully failed to deal with a Marseille corner as Ghanaian striker Andre Ayew rose highest to head home the winner.
As Lucio clasped his hands firmly on his head in agony, UEFA cameras swiftly zoomed onto the face of beleaguered Inter coach Claudio Ranieri whose expression was one of exasperation mixed in with a sizeable amount of disbelief. Add a touch of fear to that too.
It is the kind of feeling experienced before having a scan for a possible STD infection, or before you are hauled into the managers office with the word redundancy etched firmly on your mind.
The jobless figures today are frighteningly high here in Britain, they are even higher on the continent and indeed everywhere and to that list another name may soon be added.
Step forth Claudio Ranieri whose fate as Nerazzurri coach may well have been sealed by his team’s failure to deal with a late OM corner.
All this comes as Inter are on a terrible run of form having suffered some utterly humiliating defeats in Serie A of late and with elimination from Europe’s elite cup competition at the last 16 stage also looking a distinct possibility.
The final nail in the coffin could come on Sunday night when Ranieri’s men travel to Naples to face a Napoli side who smashed Chelsea 3-1 midweek.
Food for thought for Ranieri especially when he recalls how that same Napoli side which swept Chelsea aside also recorded an emphatic 3-0 win at the San Siro earlier in the season.
Inter President Massimo Moratti is well known to be trigger-happy and his club’s latest defeat to a Marseille side who, themselves are not even in great form, could see the third Inter boss in just over one year – Claudio Ranieri – perhaps the nicest man in football, put up against a wall while Moratti shouts ‘FIRE’ in Italian.