Pierre’s de résistance stuns mediocre Marseille

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A stunning leveller from Pierre Lees-Melou saw Stade Brestois snatch a point from Olympique de Marseille at Stade Francis-Le Blé, following Nuno Tavares’ first-half opener, showing much resilience to deny the visitors a first H2H away clean sheet since 2010.

Aiming to win three successive Ligue 1 games by at least a three-goal margin for the first time since 1937, Marseille started confidently. After just four minutes of play, Matteo Guendouzi was put through on the angle and brought out a fine stop from Marco Bizot, but he could only parry away, with the errant ball being cleared hurriedly by Lilian Brassier. Brest regained some control, and their best chance of the first half undoubtedly fell to Jérémy Le Douaron, who met a high cross with his head, only to hit the post with Rubén Blanco beaten.

The visitors duly punished that miss and showed him how it was done, with a corner being worked out into no-man’s land to Jonathan Clauss, and he crossed to the far post for a lurking Tavares to volley home past a helpless Bizot into the opposite corner.

Marseille had the momentum up to HT, but Brest crafted two gilt-edged chances in the second half’s early minutes, the last of which saw Franck Honorat’s shot inside the six-yard box bring an exquisite save from Blanco. Visibly fired up, Brest levelled in sensational fashion just after the hour mark, with a failed clearance from Clauss falling to Lees-Melou, who blasted a long-range shot from outside the box past a stranded Blanco to level the clash.

rest were now in the ascendancy, but there was a heart-stopping moment when Guendouzi was sent through on goal and seemingly brought down inside the box, but referee Jérémy Stinat waved away all protests with the ball clearly touched first on the tackle. At the other end, Le Douaron was proving increasingly difficult to handle and put two clear chances – a header and a point-blank shot – over the bar, as an intense clash approached the endgame.

With Marseille now tired and rocking at the back, it was Brest who nearly stole the points 10 minutes from time, as Irvin Cardona unleashed a bullet header at Blanco’s right post, forcing the Spaniard to hold the ball at full stretch. Michel Der Zakarian’s men continued to pressure the Olympians right up to the very end, but last season’s runners up held on for a disastifying draw, seeing their run of three straight wins at the Stade Francis-Le Blé ended abruptly by a spirited Brest side.

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