Lille hold off leaders PSG as Marseille, Lorient rally


Tue, Dec 24, 2013 - Page 19

Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain were held to a 2-2 draw at home by LOSC Lille Metropole on Sunday after a late own-goal handed Laurent Blanc’s side a deserved draw at the Parc des Princes.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic took his league-leading tally to 15 goals from 19 games with a deflected free-kick on 36 minutes that left Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama stranded to put the home side in front.

However, a lapse of concentration on the stroke of halftime allowed Lille to equalize when a teasing cross from the right ran into the path of captain Rio Mavuba, who slotted the ball past PSG’s Italian goalie Salvatore Sirigu.

Ivory Coast international Salomon Kalou then stunned the Parisian club when he slotted home a 53rd-minute penalty after a foul by PSG leftback Lucas Digne.

However, a botched clearance from a PSG corner with 18 minutes left forced Marko Basa to steer the ball into his goal and hand Blanc’s men a point that pushes them three points clear of AS Monaco, with Lille a further point back in third.

“It’s a bit of a shame, but they pushed really hard in the second half, although we proved we’re not in this position by luck,” Lille coach Rene Girard told Canal Plus TV.

Earlier on Sunday, Olympique de Marseille fought back from two goals down for the second week running to draw 2-2 against Girondins de Bordeaux in an engaging contest at the Stade Velodrome.

Bordeaux seized the lead 11 minutes before the interval when Brazilian forward Jussie headed in from Ludovic Obraniak’s corner.

It was Jussie’s third goal in as many games, but he went off injured at halftime. Nevertheless, the visitors padded their lead on 66 minutes when Kassim Abdallah failed to cut out a cross at the back post and Nicolas Maurice-Belay scored.

At that point, Bordeaux seemed set for a fifth successive win, but Marseille got a goal back in the 73rd, Alaixys Romao scrambling the ball over the line after Carrasso pushed away a Florian Thauvin free-kick.

The equalizer followed immediately after, Benjamin Mendy lifting the ball into the box for Andre-Pierre Gignac to convert.

The Coupe de France holders are fourth, a point clear of AS Saint-Etienne and two ahead of Marseille, who lie in sixth place.

In Sunday’s other game, Clement Grenier and Bafetimbi Gomis gave Olympique Lyonnais a 2-0 lead, only for Lorient to strike back with two late goals, including an injury-time equalizer, to salvage a 2-2 draw.

Lorient’s Vincent Aboubakar cut the deficit with 31 minutes left, before Alain Traore scored with virtually the last kick of the match to save a valuable point for Christian Gourcuff’s men to keep them ninth.

“I’m really angry,” Lyon coach Remi Garde said after his side threw away two crucial points. “I cannot explain how we lost these points.”