French clubs share spoils- without Loic Remy or Yann M’Vila.
37′ [0 – 1] A. Ayew
59′ [1 – 1] K.T. Catherine
82′ [1 – 2] J. Ayew
88′ [2 – 2] R. Alessandrini
Marseille missed the chance to climb back into second spot in Ligue 1 as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Rennes in Brittany.
In an entertaining contest, Marseille led at the interval thanks to a strike from Ghana star Andre Ayew, who bulldozed his way through the home defence and exchanged passes with Mathieu Valbuena before poking the ball past advancing Rennes ‘keeper Benoit Costil.
However, they were pegged back just before the hour mark when defender Kevin Theophile-Catherine powerfully headed home a right-wing corner for a rare goal.
Both sides had chances to go on and win the game after that as the action swung from end to end.
Ayew’s brother Jordan put Marseille back in front with just seven minutes remaining after Morgan Amalfitano sent in a tantalising cross but in the 88th minute, Rennes rescued the point they deserved.
A long clearance from Costil created confusion in the Marseille defence and Romain Alessandrini nodded the Bretons level to move them into fourth place, six points adrift of Marseille and one ahead of Nice.
The draw leaves Marseille three points behind leaders Lyon – 2-0 winners at Valenciennes on Friday – and adrift of Paris Saint-Germain on goal difference before the capital club entertain Lille on Sunday evening.
After selling France midfielder Yann M’Vila to Rubin Kazan during the week, League Cup finalists Rennes will be pleased to have come through this test unscathed and still in contention towards the top of the table.
The point moves them provisionally back into fourth before the rest of the weekend’s action.
Lorient can reclaim fourth if they win away to bottom club Nancy in one of five games to be played later on Saturday.
Ligue 1’s form team Nice play host to Bordeaux on Sunday.
On Friday, Lyon shrugged off a constant stream of transfer speculation surrounding key players and a difficult start to the New Year on the pitch by going to Valenciennes and winning 2-0 courtesy of goals by Gueida Fofana and Bafetimbi Gomis.
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