March 5, 2018 / 1:28 AM / 9 months ago

Marseille grab last-gasp equaliser to draw with Nantes

Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Olympique de Marseille vs FC Nantes - Orange Velodrome, Marseille, France - March 4, 2018 Marseille's Florian Thauvin celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

PARIS (Reuters) - Olympique Marseille snatched an equaliser five minutes into stoppage-time to draw 1-1 at home to Nantes in Ligue 1 on Sunday and avoid a fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions.

Florian Thauvin bundled the ball into the net in a goalmouth melee following a corner after Nantes had taken the lead early in the first half through Leo Dubois, who beat Steve Mandanda with a right-foot shot from Valentin Rongier’s cut-back.

Nantes defender Nicolas Pallois was sent off after a second booking for dissent immediately after the equaliser for protesting that he had been fouled by Marseille’s Luis Gustavo.

Marseille, who enjoyed more possession but squandered a string of chances, notably three by France international Dimitri Payet, remained third in the standings on 56 points from 28 matches.

They are four points behind second-placed Monaco and 18 adrift of leaders Paris St Germain, who won 2-0 at Troyes on Saturday.

Fourth-placed Olympique Lyonnais were also held to a 1-1 draw at Montpellier and remained five points behind Marseille in the race for Champions League berths.

Lyon have gone six league matches without a win since their 2-1 victory over PSG in January.

On a pitch at La Mosson in a sorry state because of heavy rain that made good football difficult, Isaac Mbenza opened the scoring for Montpellier in the seventh minute and striker Mariano Diaz equalised in the 58th.

Reporting by Rex Gowar, editing by Ed Osmond

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