Marseille were heavy favourites for this contest, and they certainly proved that with a dominant performance, but that doesn't mean they had an easy time against Groningen.
Instead, the French side struggled for the majority of the second half but they secured the three points thanks to a late-strike scored by Michy Batshuayi, winning 2-1.
Marseille cruised their way in the first half
Marseille created the best chances in the first half and it's safe to say they managed to outplayed their Dutch counterparts, edging them on both sides of the ball thanks to prolonged possession spells and a constant threat on the final meters.
Led by the talent of Remy Cabella and the constant attacking runs from Batshuayi, the Ligue 1 outfit was always in control of the ball and they were particularly dangerous in the final third. The Belgian striker created some decent opportunities to score and he started the sequence of the first goal with a long range effort that wasn't stopped properly by Groningen goalkeeper Sergio Padt. Georges-Kevin N'Koudou was right there to pounce on the rebound and he tapped the ball in to put the home side in front.
Groningen tried to react in the final minutes of the first half but they weren't able to pose any threat. The first half ended with a 1-0 lead for Marseille and a marked advantage for the hosts as they led 12-0 in scoring opportunities at the break.
Groningen improved vastly in the second half
Things changed in the second half as the Eredivisie side looked quite motivated to equalise. They managed to find the back of the net in their first clear chance when former Ajax player Hedwiges Maduro, who found himself all alone near the six-yard box after a corner kick, tapped the ball home past Steve Mandanda in the 50th minute.
Marseille's manager opted to shake things up and sent Romain Alesandrini and Lucas Silva to replace Lucas Ocampos and Mauricio Isla respectively, but the moves didn't have the expected impact as the French side dominated the possession but struggled to create in the final third while Groningen became a much more solid team on the defensive end.
Late goal secures the win
The Dutch side found some chances to score on the counter but they weren't accurate - something that happened to them all game long. Both appeared to settle for a draw until a cross from N'Koudou was met by Batshyayi and the Belgian star nodded the ball home to send the home fans into raptures as Marseille managed to notch a late-win in front of their own fans.
The final 2-1 score doesn't justify what happened on the pitch as Marseille deserved to win by a larger differential but at least they managed to get the three points. With the win, Marseille stayed in second place with nine points and they will decide their fate in the final match against Slovan Liberec while Groningen hasn't win a game throughout the entire group stage and they're already eliminated.