Paris: There was nothing to separate Olympique de Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain as the title-chasing pair played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Stade Velodrome.
All the goals arrived in a terrific first-half, with Andre-Pierre Gignac the first to strike for the hosts. But two stunning Zlatan Ibrahimovic goals, in the space of a couple of minutes, dramatically swung the game in the visitors` favour.
Gignac levelled before the break, and though PSG had the better of the second period there would be no further scoring.
Marseille started the game with terrific energy, feeding off their partisan home support, who jeered every touch from a visiting player. As early as the third minute Gignac created a yard of space for himself, but his shot was slashed wide.
Just 15 minutes later the striker would have better luck, escaping the attentions of Alex just enough to angle a terrific finish beyond Salvatore Sirigu.
That goal sparked an incredible 10-minute period in which Carlo Ancelotti’s men turned the game round in magnificent style. Ibrahimovic once again showed his class, steering a volleyed backheel into the net from a corner kick, leaving Steve Mandanda pawing at thin air.
Moments later the Marseille goalkeeper was plucking the ball from his net again. On this occasion the Swede had taken aim with a free kick from 30 yards, and his fizzing strike beat the wall and cannoned into the net.
Marseille have been made of stern stuff so far this season, though and they bounced back before the break through Gignac’s second goal, which was a simple affair as he headed home a corner delivered by Mathieu Valbuena.
Before the break PSG really should have retaken the lead, but Javier Pastore shot wide after fine work from Christophe Jallet.
The second-half proved to be a far tighter affair. Now it was the visitors who dominated matters, yet opportunities were increasingly sparse.
Those chances that did arrive came the way of the capital club. Jeremy Menez fed substitute Kevin Gameiro, who shot wide early in the period, while Ibrahimovic could not keep his effort down after more good work from the former Roma man.
In the end the two sides had to settle for a draw, which preserves the status quo at the summit of Ligue 1. OM remain top on 19 points, with PSG in second spot with 16 points from their opening eight games.
First Published: Monday, October 08, 2012, 09:35