Tue, Feb 07, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Marseille blow two-goal lead to lose ground on leaders

Reuters, PARIS

Olympique de Marseille striker Brandao scores against Olympique Lyonnais in their Ligue 1 match at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, France, on Sunday. The match finished 2-2.

Photo: Reuters

Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais 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, 11 behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Lyon, who fought back thanks to Bafetimbi Gomis and a Souleymane Diawara own-goal before halftime, stay fourth on 39 points.

Reigning champions LOSC Lille Metropole’s match at Sochaux-Montbeliard was postponed because of a frozen pitch. Two matches were called off on Sunday and the French League still has to decide when the Lille game, as well as Stade Malherbe Caen v AJ Auxerre, will be played.

The hosts were without the suspended Mathieu Valbuena, as well as the Ayew brothers, Andre and Jordan, who are on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Ghana.

Marseille went ahead on 16 minutes when Cheyrou volleyed home following a bad clearance by the Lyon defense.

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 back-heel, Jimmy Briand sent the ball into the path of Bafetimbi Gomis, who fired home from point-blank range to reduce the arrears two minutes later.

On the stroke of halftime, Souleymane Diawara, who returned this week after Senegal were eliminated from the Cup of Nations, deflected an Aly Cissokho cross into his own goal.

In the closing stages, Marseille goalkeeper 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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