Remy Cabella canceled out a rare goal from Maxwell as Paris Saint-Germain were held to a 1-1 draw at faltering defending champions Montpellier Herault on Sunday.
Both sides finished the match with 10 men as Mamadou Sakho was dismissed for the visitors, while Younes Belhanda received his marching orders for Montpellier in a tetchy affair that saw PSG return to the Ligue 1 summit.
Olympique de Marseille had provisionally assumed control of top spot earlier in the day following a 2-2 draw at home to OGC Nice, but a point for Carlo Ancelotti’s side at Stade de la Mosson was enough for the Parisians to usurp their archrivals on goal-difference, albeit having played one game extra.
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic serving the first of his two-match suspension, Guillaume Hoarau was handed a rare start by Ancelotti, but the French striker’s participation came to an abrupt end as he was substituted after just 12 minutes, with PSG forced to reshuffle following Sakho’s red card for a professional foul on Gaetan Charbonnier.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, the capital club went in front on 37 minutes as Maxwell lofted an exquisite chip from just inside the area over a stranded Geoffrey Jourdren, but the hosts restored parity on the hour-mark as Remy Cabella dispossessed Blaise Matuidi inside his own half, advancing into the box, before arrowing a low strike into the far corner past a helpless Salvatore Sirigu.
Belhanda was then shown a second yellow card for a deliberate handball just five minutes later, leaving both sides to see out the game with 10 men.
Earlier, Marseille were forced to settle for a point as Nice twice came from behind to earn a creditable point at the Stade Velodrome.
Mathieu Valbuena missed a first-half penalty, before Andre Ayew headed in the former’s clipped cross to give Marseille the lead against Nice five minutes before halftime.
Dario Cvitanich then notched his fourth league goal since arriving on the Cote d’Azur six minutes after the interval, diving to nod in Eric Bautheac’s free-kick at the far post to haul Nice level.
Valbuena put Marseille back in front, stabbing home after Andre Ayew’s initial effort rebounded off the crossbar and the back of Nice goalkeeper David Ospina, but the home side were undone two minutes from time when Fabrice Abriel swept in Camel Meriem’s miscued volley from close range to earn draw specialists Nice a seventh stalemate of the season.
Meanwhile, Olympique Lyonnais are third in the table on 22 points, one adrift of both PSG and Marseille, following their 1-1 draw at struggling Sochaux-Montbeliard.
Maxime Gonalons was on target for a second successive league game, as he flicked a Steed Malbranque set-piece beyond Sochaux goalkeeper Simon Pouplin to put Lyon ahead on 24 minutes, but Sloan Privat drew Sochaux level on 71 minutes when he drilled low past Remy Vercoutre after a neat exchange of passes with Ryad Boudebouz to earn the home side a valuable point.
Elsewhere, Girondins de Bordeaux made it back-to-back wins with a 4-0 rout of Lorient at the Stade du Moustoir.
Brazilian striker Jussie opened his account for the season when he prodded home after the hosts failed to deal with a corner. He then set up Ludovic Obraniak to double Bordeaux’s lead on 33 minutes.
Henri Saivet nodded in from another corner eight minutes after halftime to increase the visitors’ advantage, then Jussie unselfishly squared the ball to Yoan Gouffran, who completed the demolition to extend Lorient’s winless run to seven matches.