Olympique de Marseille failed to take advantage of Olympique Lyonnais’ defeat at AC Ajaccio when they slumped to a shock 1-0 home loss to AS Nancy-Lorraine after finishing with 10 men following Joey Barton’s first Ligue 1 sending-off on Sunday.
Salif Sane scored the winner for Nancy after Andre Ayew deflected the ball into his own net following a corner in the 75th minute, giving the visitors their first away victory of the season and lifting them four points from safety.
The hosts were down to 10 men after Barton picked up two bookings in four minutes just before the hour mark to earn his first red card since joining Marseille on loan from Queens Park Rangers.
Marseille produced a dull performance and Nancy could have taken the lead from striker Paul Alo’o Efoulou 14th-minute scissor-kick, which was stopped by Andre-Pierre Gignac on the line.
Nancy maintained their domination after Barton was dismissed for two rough challenges and deservedly opened the scoring to inflict Marseille’s third home loss of the season.
Marseille stayed third, three points adrift of Lyon, who were stunned 3-1 at Ajaccio thanks to Adrian Mutu’s first Ligue 1 brace.
An action-packed second half proved to be a nightmare for title-chasing Lyon, for whom Bafetimbi Gomis missed a chance to make it 2-2 from the penalty spot with three minutes to go and centerback Dejan Lovren was sent off in stoppage-time.
Mutu, who put his side ahead with a close-range header in the 65th minute, netted the resulting penalty to seal the hosts’ victory.
Lyon dominated possession for an hour, but struggled to threaten goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa until Alexandre Lacazette, who had a first-half goal disallowed for offside, opened the scoring with a superb volley in the 53rd minute.
Their lead did not last long, though, as Chahir Belghazouani converted Ajaccio’s second effort on target four minutes later to make it 1-1.
The Morocco international initiated 14th-placed Ajaccio’s second goal when he ran down the left wing to set up Johan Cavalli, whose neat cross was headed home by Mutu.
Lyon increased the tempo and thought they would salvage a point in the 87th minute when Gomis was awarded a penalty after Felipe Saad fouled him just inside the box, but Ochoa saved the France international’s effort.
The action was not over, though, as Lovren was shown a red card for a foul on Dennis Oliech in stoppage-time and Mutu converted the ensuing penalty to score his seventh league goal of the season.
Also on Sunday, champions Montpellier Herault recovered from Gaetan Courtet’s first-half opener to beat struggling Stade de Reims 3-1 at home through goals by Souleymane Camara, Marco Estrada and Younes Belhanda.