Sun, Feb 11, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Marseille miss out on two points, lose goalie in draw

AFP, PARIS

AS Saint-Etienne’s Mathieu Debuchy, left, challenges Olympique de Marseille’s Clinton Njie for the ball in their Ligue 1 match in Marseille, France, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

A last-minute finger-tip save on Friday deprived Florian Thauvin a brace and Olympique de Marseille the three points as AS Saint-Etienne fought for a 2-2 Ligue 1 draw, with a goalkeeping gaffe from the visitors the key moment in the match.

The result meant that Paris Saint-Germain were 10 points clear ahead of their trip yesterday to Toulouse and free to concentrate on a UEFA Champions League clash with Real Madrid next week.

The snow was relentless in central France, but more than 30,000 home fans never stopped singing as their resurgent side made it seven points from nine.

Thauvin buried a cracking left-footed volley from a deep cross right in the bottom corner of Stephane Ruffier’s goal on four minutes after his marker had slipped in the snow.

However, Kevin Monnet-Paquet then held his nerve to slot a careful shot past l’OM stopper Steve Mandanda and a backtracking Luiz Gustavo on nine minutes to make it 1-1.

Ruffier was again key as he raced out of his goal with Valere Germain bearing down on him and belted the ball to safety when a goal looked more likely.

However, Marseille again took the lead on 20 minutes when Morgan Sanson’s powerfully shot found the back of the net.

The game turned as Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda injured himself with a goal-kick, limping off clutching his thigh.

An absolute howler from reserve goalkeeper Yohann Pele allowed the hosts back in, as he missed a deep cross before substitute Robert Beric chested the ball home on the line on 74 minutes.

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