Olympique Marseille and
Olympique Lyon lost further ground on the Ligue 1 pacesetters
when the hosts blew a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw at the Stade
Velodrome on Sunday.
Marseille, who surged ahead through first-half goals by
Benoit Cheyrou and Brandao, remained fifth with 38 points from
22 games, 11 behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain who beat Evian
Thonon Gaillard 3-1 on Saturday.
Lyon, who fought back thanks to Bafetimbi Gomis and a
Souleymane Diawara own goal before half-time, stayed fourth on 39
Second-placed Montpellier, three points off the pace, also
won on Saturday, beating Stade Brest 1-0 as champions Lille, who
have 39 points, had their game at Sochaux postponed because of a
Two other matches were called off over the weekend and the
French League still has to decide when the Lille game, as well
as Saint-Etienne v Lorient and Caen v AJ Auxerre, will be played.
The hosts, on a four-match winning streak in Ligue 1, were
without the suspended Mathieu Valbuena as well as the Ayew
brothers, Andre and Jordan who are on Africa Cup of Nations duty
Marseille went ahead on 16 minutes when Cheyrou volleyed
home following a bad clearance by the Lyon defence.
Brandao tapped in from a Morgan Amalfitano cross to double
the tally in the 34th minute but Lyon fought back against the
run of play.
With a clever backheel, Jimmy Briand sent the ball into the
path of Bafetimbi Gomis who fired home at point-blank range to
reduce the arrears two minutes later.
On the stroke of half-time, Souleymane Diawara, who returned
to Marseille this week after Senegal were eliminated from the
Africa Cup of Nations deflected an Aly Cissokho cross into his own
In the closing stages, Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda made
a lightning quick save from Lisandro Lopez to help his team
extend their unbeaten run to 13 games in all competitions.
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