Late Cheyrou strike checks Bordeaux
Benoit Cheyrou's goal earned Marseille a point as ten-man Bordeaux moved seven points clear at the top of the table. A Steve Mandanda own goal had put the defending champions ahead, but Cheyrou's strike earned Didier Deschamps' side a point they barely deserved after being dominated by their hosts at Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas.
Marseille, who had not won in Bordeaux for 33 years, knew a defeat would effectively end their slim title hopes, but they were slow out of the blocks as the home side went on the offensive. Mickael Ciani almost gave Les Girondins an early lead, but his shot was deflected wide after Marseille failed to clear a Yohann Gourcuff corner. Brazilian midfielder Wendel tried his luck from the edge of the area in the 24th minute and his shot forced Mandanda into a full-stretch save.
Marseille struggled to break their opponents down and failed to get a single shot on target during the first half. And the hosts took a deserved lead right on half-time. Ciani made a driving run down the right and put a teasing cross into the box. Striker Marouane Chamakh rose for the ball with Mandanda and as the two collided the France international goalkeeper dropped the ball and it rolled into the net.
Laurent Blanc's side were forced into a change early in the second half as a calf injury forced goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso to leave the field, with 36-year-old Ulrich Rame replacing him. Deschamps also made changes as he sent on Mathieu Valbuena and Hatem Ben Arfa in an effort to turn the game around.
Things got even worse for the hosts when defender Marc Planus was shown the red card for a terrible tackle on Marseille striker Mamadou Niang. And his ill-discipline almost cost his side as Cheyrou fired the resulting free-kick inches wide.
The visitors finally began to take a stranglehold on the game with the extra man and Benoit Tremoulinas was forced to clear Brandao's goalbound header off the line after he had been first to Valbuena's corner. But Cheyrou netted an 80th minute equaliser after being teed up by Brandao, the midfielder chesting his lay-off and volleying home. Rame was then forced to make a fantastic save from a powerful Niang shot, but neither side could find a winner.