Marseille knock Inter out on away goals
A wild finish at the San Siro saw Marseille knock Inter Milan out of the UEFA Champions League to reach the quarter-finals and pile even more pressure on the beleaguered Claudio Ranieri as the hosts won 2-1 but went out on away goals.
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 victory on the night, coach Ranieri's side went out on the away goals rule.
Ranieri blamed defeat on a lack of luck. "This match is a picture of our season, we played better than Marseille and even tonight we had the clearer chances," he said. "Over 180 minutes Marseille had three shots on goal but in football the team who wins is the one that scores, so well done to them.
"This year we haven't had any luck, I can't ask the team for more. We need to keep giving everything and we'll see what we can do in the league. We could have done more with that touch more luck that really seems to not want to arrive. We were unjustly condemned, but that's the beauty and the beast of football and you have to accept it."
Marseille had an early chance to all but end Inter's hopes as Mathieu Valbuena shot dangerously on the turn, but saw the ball go narrowly wide. Instead it was Inter who wasted golden chances as they showed all the signs of a team short on confidence.
Javier Zanetti ran brilliantly 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 to 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.
At the other end, Cesar Azpilicueta's long looping cross found Andre Ayew at the far post, but his header, lacking power, went narrowly wide. After that sparkling start, the game largely went stale as move after move at either end finished with a series of misplayed passes.
Mandanda got across to keep out Sneijder's curling free-kick while Diego Forlan headed wide from Maicon's cross in the closing stages of the first half, but Inter had failed to show enough to suggest they could turn it around as they went in for the half-time break.
And the narrative barely swung in their favour during a poor start to the second half with few chances for either side. Their 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 Forlan.
Frenzied final minutes
Stankovic sent a poor free-kick well over the crossbar from a good position as time continued to tick away. Marseille could have finished 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.
Inter poured forward in search of a winner, but Mandanda comfortably dealt with Maicon's free-kick, before the Brazilian sent another set-piece from a far better position wildly over the bar.
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.