Marseille, Lyon’s struggles continue in draw

PARIS (AFP) – Marseille and Lyon continued their shaky starts to the season on Sunday night with a 1-1 draw that leaves both sides languishing in mid-table in Ligue 1.

Marseille are 10th on nine points following the draw at the Groupama stadium while Rudi Garcia’s Lyon, who reached the semi-finals of last season’s Champions League, are two points and four places back.

Andre Villas-Boas’ Marseille have not won in the four matches since they beat Paris Saint-Germain last month while Lyon’s winless run already stretches to five matches in the six-game-old season.

The hosts have drawn four of those matches and struggled to break down Marseille even though the away side played most of the match with 10 men following Dmitri Payet’s 19th-minute red card for a high challenge on Leo Dubois.

Marseille had taken the lead thanks to talisman Payet’s smart finish just three minutes before he was sent off, but Houssem Aouar levelled from the penalty spot just before the half hour mark and that’s how the scores remained.

Aouar, who was set to be leaving in the summer transfer window which closes on Monday, thought he had also scored the winner with 14 minutes remaining only to see his goal ruled out for what looked like a soft foul on Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda.

“In the circumstances it’s a good point which gives us some confidence,” said Villas Boas. “I’m happy because the players gave everything, we rediscovered the spirit that we has last season.”