Marseille, Lyon draw as crowd trouble mars clash
Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette opened his account for the season on Sunday but 10-man Marseille battled back to earn a 1-1 draw in a toxic encounter at the Stade Velodrome.
Paris: Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette opened his account for the season on Sunday but 10-man Marseille battled back to earn a 1-1 draw in a toxic encounter at the Stade Velodrome.
Lacazette, scorer of a club-record 27 goals last season on his way to winning Ligue 1`s Player of the Year award, converted a contentious first-half penalty to atone for his midweek miss in the Champions League.
But Marseille, despite seeing Romain Alessandrini sent off just before half-time, rescued a point after play was interrupted for 20 minutes due to crowd trouble courtesy of Karim Rekik`s first goal in French football.
There was a hostile reception for Mathieu Valbuena on his return to the Stade Velodrome where he starred for Marseille until leaving for Dynamo Moscow last year before signing with Lyon in August.
But the OL playmaker brushed off the jeers and missiles from the crowd as well as a series of heavy challenges and played a key role in the visitors taking a 25th-minute lead.
"Perhaps we allowed our concentration to lapse in the five minutes after the interruption, but that`s not an excuse," said Lyon coach Hubert Fournier.
"I don`t want comment on the incidents, the officials made their decisions."
In the build-up to Lyon`s goal, Valbuena threaded a pass through to Lacazette who then went down following minimal contact with OM goalkeeper Steve Mandanda before calmly tucking away the resulting spot-kick.
Lacazette had seen his late penalty saved in Wednesday`s 1-1 draw against nine-man Gent in Belgium but held his nerve on Sunday to end his early-season drought.
Lacazette should have added to his tally a few minutes later when he timed a run in behind the Marseille defence to perfection only for his shot to crash back off the upright with Mandanda well beaten.
Marseille were reduced to 10 men just before half-time with Romain Alessandrini dismissed for a crude challenge on Valbuena.
Play was then interrupted in the second half for roughly 20 minutes as objects rained down from the stands but Marseille equalised within a few minutes of the resumption when former Manchester City defender Rekik headed home from a corner.
Christophe Jallet, on target at Gent four days earlier, nearly snatched all three points for Lyon late on but was denied by a fine reflex stop from Mandanda with Valbuena then fizzing a volley just wide.
Earlier, Saint-Etienne recorded a fourth successive league win to move to within a point of leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Les Verts took a first-half lead at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard through a first Ligue 1 goal from teenager Jonathan Bamba.
Slovenian international Robert Beric, who arrived from Rapid Vienna last month, then added a second just after half-time to seal victory for Christophe Galtier`s side.
Monaco`s indifferent start to the season continued as the principality side found themselves two goals down to Lorient inside 20 minutes.
Didier Ndong hammered a long-range thunderbolt beyond Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic before Benjamin Jeannot added a second for the visitors.
Almamy Toure pulled one back for Monaco shortly after and the hosts were back on level terms when Thomas Lemar equalised just after the interval but substitute Benjamin Moukandjo`s 59th-minute strike won it for Lorient.
Enzo Crivelli scored a minute from time to salvage a 1-1 draw for Bordeaux against ten-man Toulouse.
Moroccan midfielder Adrien Regattin smashed home the opening goal Toulouse in the 23rd minute but a straight red card shown to Oscar Trejo with 13 minutes left hampered the visitors chances of holding on for maximum points.
On Saturday, Edinson Cavani kept Paris Saint-Germain`s unbeaten start to the season intact as he equalised late on at Reims in a 1-1 draw.
Rennes, like Saint-Etienne, are also just one point back after coming from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Lille on Friday evening.