Marseille's Mandanda frustrates Lyon for draw
Steve Mandanda's injury-time reflex save from a close-range effort by Lyon's Argentinian striker Lisandro helped Marseille to a 2-2 draw in Ligue 1 action on Sunday.
Mandanda's quick reaction after Lisandro tried to drill home a Kim Kallstrom cross was the highlight of a second half that failed to live up to a first 45 minutes that saw four goals scored.
The high-scoring game belied freezing conditions across the country that had seen Caen v Auxerre, Sochaux v Lille and Saint-Etienne v Lorient all postponed over the weekend.
Marseille, with midfielder Mathieu Valbuena ruled out after he was dismissed in the midweek League Cup win over Nice, opened the scoring through Benoit Cheyrou after a quarter of an hour, the midfielder sending the ball past Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at the post.
Brandao made it 2-0 on the half-hour, the Brazilian cleanly volleying home from a Morgan Amalfitano cross.
But Lyon hit back in smart fashion, Bafetimbi Gomis capitalising two minutes later from a Kallstrom cross that took a deflection from Jimmy Briand.
Souleymane Diawara, just back from scorching temperatures at the African Cup of Nations with Senegal, then equalised the score two minutes before half-time when his misjudged clearing header beat his own keeper.
The draw left Lyon in fourth place on 39 points, with Lille in third on goal difference, seven points behind second-placed Montpellier. Marseille sit in fifth on 38 points.
Lyon coach Remi Garde said he was satisfied with the draw, albeit that his side was guilty of squandering several goal-scoring opportunities.
"We had chances to take the lead," he said. "But you mustn't forget that we were 2-0 behind and had to to force the game to come back, which is not at all bad when you're up against Marseille.
"The equaliser just before half-time was important," he said, adding: "We lacked a good finishing touch in the second-half."
In Saturday's action, Paris Saint Germain survived the big chill to keep their lead at the top of Ligue 1 intact after a 3-1 win over Evian at the Parc des Princes.
Carlo Ancelotti's PSG stayed three points clear of Montpellier with 49 points from 22 games after recovering from the shock of going behind on a bone-hard pitch, Cedric Cambon opening the scoring in first half stoppage time.
But PSG stuck to their task and Brazilian Nene rescued them with a solo leveller two minutes after the restart before finally breaking the visitors' resistence with a penalty 11 minutes from time after Jeremy Menez was bundled over in the box.
France international forward Kevin Gameiro put the icing on the cake with a third at the death, a swift poach after a Nene effort was deflected.
PSG handed a debut meanwhile to Italy international midfielder Thiago Motta, a transfer window signing from Inter Milan - although fellow new boy Alex did not feature after his arrival from Chelsea.
Montpellier thanked a 41st-minute goal from Geoffrey Dernis - a close range effort off his back - for their win over midtable Brest.
Elsewhere, Dijon slid to a 2-1 home loss to Valenciennes and Ajaccio were held 1-1 by Nice - but the Corsican hosts remain out of the drop zone after a strong recent run including four straight wins.
Nice themselves are in the bottom three along with Auxerre and Sochaux, three points further back.
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