Nine-man Marseille held

A review of the weekend's action in the French Ligue 1, with Marseille having two men sent off in a 1-1 draw.

Last Updated: 10/02/13 at 22:39 Post Comment

Marseille's Jordan Ayew trudges off

Marseille's Jordan Ayew trudges off

Marseille finished the match with nine men and failed to take advantage of struggling opposition as a 1-1 draw with Evian saw them continue a poor run with their challenge at the top of Ligue 1 faltering.

Things had looked good for the visitors, who started the match in third place, when Andre-Pierre Gignac put them ahead five minutes after the break.

However, the lead lasted just eight minutes before Yannick Sagbo levelled from the spot after Kassim Abdallah had fouled Saber Khelifa, with the defender also given a straight red card as the last man.

Marseille's miserable afternoon continued 15 minutes from time when Jordan Ayew was sent off after being shown his second yellow card and they have now taken just two points from three games.

Lyon's title bid took a huge blow as they suffered a second straight defeat, a surprise 3-1 home loss to Lille.

Coming on the back of last week's reverse away to lowly AC Ajaccio, this result leaves them six points adrift of Paris St Germain who have suddenly found themselves coasting after poor results for both Lyon and Marseille since the winter break.

Aurelien Chedjou headed the visitors in front after 28 minutes and then doubled their advantage through Florent Balmont seconds before the break, converting Lyon coach Remi Garde's half-time address into crisis talks.

But whatever he said did little good as Salomon Kalou fired in a penalty five minutes into the second half.

Lisandro Lopez got one back from the penalty spot seven minutes later but nothing would come for Les Gones in open play and Lille saw the game out.

Two late goals by Romain Alessandrini and Mevlut Erding guided Rennes to their first victory in three games as they beat Toulouse 2-0.

Alessandrini struck 11 minutes from time pouncing on a rare error by Toulouse goalkeeper Ali Ahamada before Erding volleyed home five minutes later to confirm victory and leave the visitors winless in three matches.

On Saturday, in-form St Etienne stepped up their bid for Champions League football by casting aside champions Montpellier 4-1 at a snowy Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

First-half goals from Brandao and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were followed by a third from Yohan Mollo three minutes after half-time.

Montpellier immediately pulled a goal back through Remy Cabella before the match was delayed for 30 minutes when the snow made conditions unplayable.

With fears the game could be called off the ASSE players helped clear the pitch and their efforts were rewarded after the resumption with a fourth goal, through Mathieu Bodmer, and a sixth successive win in all competitions.

The win leaves them on the cusp of the Champions League places while Montpellier, who had started to climb the table themselves, suffered a third successive away league defeat.

Bordeaux slipped out of the top four after slumping to a 1-0 defeat at improving Ajaccio, who followed up their surprise win over Lyon last weekend with another impressive scalp.

A first-half strike from Ricardo Faty was enough to earn Ajaccio the spoils as Bordeaux suffered only their second defeat in 13 matches in all competitions.

The loss sees Bordeaux drop to sixth in the standings, with St Etienne taking their spot among the European places.

Ajaccio, meanwhile, are up to 14th after extending their unbeaten run to five matches in Ligue 1, which has also included holding title favourites PSG.

Valentin Eysseric's late equaliser secured Nice a share of the spoils in their Ligue 1 clash with fellow Europa League hopefuls Lorient at the Stade Municipal du Ray.

Eysseric coolly slotted home eight minutes from time to cancel out Lucas Mareque's 75th-minute opener for the visitors.

Reims won away from home for the first time since returning to Ligue 1 as Nancy's resurgence was halted after a 2-1 loss.

The Lorraine side had won their last two games, their first league wins since the opening day of the season, and took the lead through defender Sebastien Puygrenier on the half-hour.

But goals from Floyd Ayite and Odair Fortes in the second half turned the game around and Gaetan Courtet had a late third disallowed.

Brest remained just two points clear of Ligue 1's relegation zone after losing 2-1 to Valenciennes at the Stade du Hainaut.

First-half goals from Mathieu Dossevi and Rudy Mater were enough to secure a win that leaves VA 10th in the table.

Charlison Benschop hit the post for Brest in the second half but they had only Florian Raspentino's late goal for consolation.

Troyes moved off bottom spot by the slightest of margins with a goalless draw against a Sochaux side who also remain in deep trouble in the Ligue 1 survival battle.

A point drew the home side level with Nancy on 18 points, with a slightly superior goals-scored record giving Troyes the edge.

Sochaux remain one point and one place above the drop zone after an uninspiring encounter that deserved no victor.

Sebastien Corchia had what was probably Sochaux's best chance in the 17th minute when he struck a free-kick from 25 yards out and skimmed the outside of the post.

On Friday night, leaders Paris St Germain continued their march with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Bastia at the Parc des Princes.

The capital club did all the damage after a goalless first 45 minutes in which the decision to keep star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the bench, with next week's champions League trip to Valencia in mind, looked as though it could prove costly.

But after Jeremy Menez made the breakthrough on 51 minutes, the enigmatic Swede stepped off the bench to score his 21st league goal from the penalty spot.

Wahbi Khazri's free-kick pulled a goal back late on, to end goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu's unbeaten record at 947 minutes, before another substitute, Ezequiel Lavezzi, quickly ensured there would be no PSG slip-up.


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