Tue, Feb 28, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Lille concede a last-gasp equalizer to lose ground

Reuters, Paris

Mevlut Erding of Stade Rennais shoots to score past LOSC Lille Metropole goalkeeper Mickael Landreau in their Ligue 1 match at the Route de Lorient in Rennes, France, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

LOSC Lille Metropole missed an opportunity to reduce the gap on the Ligue 1 leaders to five points when they conceded a last-gasp goal in a 1-1 draw at 10-man Stade Rennais on Sunday.

Mevlut Erding’s last-minute effort canceled out Aurelien Chedjou’s first-half opener after Rennes had centerback Onyekachi Apam sent off for picking up two yellow cards in quick succession.

Lille remain third with 46 points and they trail leaders Montpellier Herault by seven points after the southerners beat Girondins de Bordeaux 1-0 on Saturday.

Olympique de Marseille’s hopes of playing in the Champions League next term took a knock when their 16-match unbeaten run in all competitions ended with a 1-0 loss at Stade Brestois 29 earlier on Sunday, Paul Baysse scoring from a corner after 17 minutes.

Didier Deschamps’ side, who still have a game in hand, dropped to eighth, seven points adrift of Lille, who occupy the Champions League playoff spot.

Rennes got off to a good start against champions Lille, but Apam was shown two yellow cards in the 36th and 37th minutes for fouling Nolan Roux and Joe Cole.

Belgium midfielder Eden Hazard sent the resulting free-kick dipping into the box for Chedjou to head home as the visitors looked set for a routine win, but Rennes piled on the pressure after the break and came close on several occasions, with Lille banking on counterattacks.

Erding eventually found the back of the net in the 90th minute when he latched onto a Jean Armel Kana-Biyik assist.

Marseille, who had not lost a competitive game in three months, dominated throughout at Brest, but home goalkeeper Steve Elana was in superb form.

The visitors were denied a penalty in the first minute when Johan Martial, who later admitted on French TV he committed a foul, brought down Brandao in the box.

Brazilian striker Brandao then directed a header against the post.

Elana made two stunning saves to deny Rod Fanni and Benoit Cheyrou from close range in the second half, before tipping an Andre Ayew effort over the bar in stoppage-time.

Shortly afterwards, Eden Ben Basat cleared a Fanni header off his goal-line.

“We were denied an obvious penalty after 30 seconds of play. It was a big mistake by the referee,” Marseille captain Alou Diarra told French TV channel Foot+. “If we get and score that penalty in the first minute, the game is just not the same.”

Toulouse are seventh after goals by Aymen Abdennour and Emmanuel Riviere gave them a 2-0 victory over bottom club Sochaux-Montbeliard.

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