Bordeaux held as Marseille miss chance
© AFP

Reigning champions Bordeaux found themselves thwarted Sunday as title rivals Montpellier shocked them with an injury-time equaliser to leave both sides locked at the top of the French league.

A goal on the hour from hotshot Marouane Chamakh looked to have given Laurent Blanc's Bordeaux the points at the Chaban Delmas stadium after the visitors missed two penalties. But Argentine Alberto Costa rescued Montpellier with a freekick four minutes into time added on which home keeper Cedric Carrasso spilled over the line.

Montpellier should have earlier been home and dry but missed two spotkicks - Carrasso ironically producing a superlative stop to deny Costa and then saving a second kick from Victor Hugo Montano, who was made to retake his kick for an infringement having netted the first attempt.

The stalemate left Bordeaux on 52 points from 25 matches with Montpellier, surprise title contenders, on 52 from 27. "We showed what we are capable of - we had two penalties and should have killed them off," said Montpellier coach Rere Girard.

It's very frustrating considering the amount of chances we carved out. We have won numerous games with less chances.
Marseille coach Didier Deschamps

As Bordeaux bemoaned two points lost it was draws all round for their immediate rivals as Marseille, seeking a first championship success in 19 years, lost ground after Lorient held them to a 1-1 stalemate at the Stade Velodrome.

Senegalese international Mamadou Niang notched his 15th goal of the season two minutes before the break to put the Mediterranean side into a deserved lead. But instead of the floodgates opening, that was as good as it got for the hosts as Laurent Koscielny nudged in from close range for midtable Brittany side Lorient midway through the second half.

The solitary point left Marseille in fourth place with 49 points from 26 games, one point behind Lyon - who have played a game more. Lyon, their minds possibly on their upcoming Champions League return date with Real Madrid, could only manage a goalless draw at struggling Boulogne on Saturday.

Marseille coach Didier Deschamps said he was hugely frustrated by Sunday's wasted opportunities to gain a win which could have sent his men a point clear of Lyon. "It's very frustrating considering the amount of chances we carved out. We have won numerous games with less chances," said the man who skippered France to the 1998 World Cup. "Just one point is small reward for what we produced - we did everything in our power to win this match. But we will keep going."