If this was the most unlikely of friendlies then it produced an even more remarkable result.

Two goals in eight first half minutes helped Stanley stun the French giants in this glamour friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.

Marseille’s big guns were all present, Andre Villas-Boas’ men being led out by France star Dimitri Payet with 41-cap Brazil international Luiz Gustavo also in the starting line-up.

More major names joined the party in the second half including internationals Kevin Strootman, Florian Thauvin and Hikori Sakai.

But after OM missed a host of chances, Sean McConville headed home on 28 minutes before winning a penalty which Offrande Zanzala converted.

Thauvin did pull a goal back in the closing stages but the Reds had done enough to secure a memorable victory.

It was a lively affair from the off with the tackles coming from Stanley and Marseille having the better of the chances.

Trialist left back Joe Maguire, Ross Sykes and Sam Finley all didn’t shy away from hefty challenges as the Reds tried to get in among their more well known opponents from the south of France.

As was to be expected though, Marseille were in the ascendancy and should have been well clear in the opening quarter.

Valere Germain tested Dimitar Evtimov when breaking in behind before a fine turn from Isaac Lihadji set up a shot that was well blocked by Sykes.

Morgan Sanson had the best opportunity early on though, blazing over when free in the area as the ball sat up nicely.

Former Aston Villa man Jordan Amavi also went close with a shot from distance moments after catching Callum Johnson with a flying boot.

It was the Reds however who went in front against the run of play just before the half hour.

Jordan Clark broke down the right and sent over a cross that was missed by the diving Yohann Pele in the Marseille goal with McConville, who had earlier sent a free-kick narrowly wide, heading into the empty net.

Eight minutes later it was two, McConville danced into the area and was brought down with Zanzala doing the rest from the spot.

Finley then headed narrowly over for John Coleman’s men while the French visitors continued to be wasteful at the other end, Saif-Eddine Khaoui not testing Evtimov when in a good position.

It was all change from Marseille at the break but the second half was a far more sedate affair than the first.

The French side controlled large parts of the play and did pull a goal back on 77 minutes.

Former Newcastle man Thauvin, who has 10 caps for Les Blues, found space in the box and side-footed home a slick finish. 

Villas-Boas’ side then went in search of a leveller and the Reds were grateful to Evtimov who kept out a Strootman header from a corner with a sharp save before Thauvin sent a free-kick over the bar in stoppage time.

Stanley: Evtimov, Johnson (Triallist), Triallist (Barclay), Hughes, Sykes (Rodgers), Conneely, Clark (Triallist), Finley (Triallist), Zanzala (Simmonds), Triallist (Watson), McConville. Subs: Savin, Ogle.

Marseille first half: Pele, Amavi, Gustavo, Germain, Kamara, Khaoui, Lihadji, Payet, Sanson, Sarr, Sertic.

Marseille second half: Pele, Ake, Caleta-Car, Chabrolle (Ali Mohamed), Khetir, Nkounkou, Rocchia, Sakai, Strootman, Thauvin, Perrin.