Arles fight back for thrilling 3-3 draw
Bottom club Alres-Avignon showed great character to fight back from 3-1 down against Lorient, goals from Yann Kermorgant and Rémy Cabella grabbing a seemingly unlikely share of the points on Saturday night.
Rarely this season have Arles-Avignon caused their opponents to regret anything, but Lorient will be feeling the pain after the club from Provence rallied to secure a draw with an excellent second-half performance.
Lorient have been struggling to win games since their 5-1 demolition of Bordeaux in Week 24, but they looked to be on track for the three points early in the second half when the omnipresent Kévin Gameiro netted their third with a calm finish from Kévin Monnet-Paquet’s cross from the right (53’) to make it 3-1.
Meriem still has it
Veteran midfielder Camel Meriem had opened the scoring with an angled shot from the edge of the area (6’) - the first time Fabien Audard had conceded in three matches in all competitions - but Lorient recovered from a luke-warm start to the match.
First Morgan Amalfitano (19’) and then Sigamary Diarra (45’) struck to put the match in the visitors’ hands, but just minutes after Gameiro’s goal, Meriem fired into the back of the net in what turned out, thanks to a goal-line clearance from Bruno Ecuele-Manga, to be a warning.
Arles storm home
There was to be no stopping the Arles attack, however, and Meriem was once again involved, sending in a sweet corner that saw substitute Yann Kermorgant’s header trump Audard at the far post to make it 3-2 (64’).
And with ten minutes to go, Meriem set up another subsitute - Rémy Cabella - with a piercing through-ball and the youngster made no mistake for firepast Audard to make it 3-3, just the second time this season that Arles-Avignon have scored three goals in a game.
While the fightback will no doubt boost morale at the league’s bottom club, they remain 22 points adrift of their nearest rival, 19th-placed Nice. Lorient slip to ninth.