Marseille deny Lyon lead
© AFP

A second-half equaliser by French international Mathieu Valbuena gave defending Ligue 1 champions Marseille a 1-1 home draw against Lyon. The result denied the visitors top spot on the league table.

Valbuena's third league goal of the season got Marseille back on level terms after Argentinian Lisandro had given Lyon the lead in the 34th minute for his eighth of the season. The result sees Lyon in fourth place a point behind leaders Lille, who have a game in hand, while Marseille are another two points adrift.

"We could have come away with more this evening but taking a point at Marseille isn't too bad.
Claude Puel, Lyon coach

 

Marseille coach Didier Deschamps said he had hoped for better but was still pleased by parts of the performance. "The fact that we came back from a goal down is a good thing," said Deschamps. "It's a pity that we couldn't get a winner at the end."

His Lyon counterpart Claude Puel also had regrets, mainly that they had allowed Marseille to get into the match in the second-half but overall he left a happy man. "We could have been more effective when it came to the final pass and in front of goal," said 49-year-old Puel. "We could have come away with more this evening but taking a point at Marseille isn't too bad."

Lyon took the lead as Lisandro's crisply struck shot, after being well found by Brazilian Michel Bastos, beat Steve Mandanda, though the goalkeeper could look askance at his defence who had left the Argentinian star unmarked.

The visitors went into the break as leaders of the league but were pinned back in the 51st minute when Valbuena nipped in behind the static Lyon defence and flicked Benoit Cheyrou's ball past Hugo Lloris. Lyon went close to restoring their lead in the 64th minute as Cheyrou was dispossessed by Cameroon midfielder Jean II Makoun and his pass found Bafetembi Gomis, but his shot slid the wrong side of the post.

The day's only other match to survive the inhospitable weather sweeping across Europe saw 2009 French champions Bordeaux held to their fourth successive draw, a 1-1 stalemate with Sochaux.

Brazilian striker Jussie had given Bordeaux the lead in the 28th minute with a header from Czech Republic international midfielder Jaroslav Plasil's corner, the 11th goal this season out of a total of 21 conceded by the hosts to come from dead ball play. However, Sochaux levelled six minutes later as playmaker Marvin Martin broke down the right and passed to an unmarked Ideye Brown who slotted the ball past Bordeaux goalkeeper Cedric Carasso.