Marseille and Monaco wrestle to a draw
With second place in Ligue 1 Conforama up for grabs after Olympique Lyonnais were beaten, Olympique de Marseille and AS Monaco failed to seize their chance, sharing the points in a 2-2 draw.
Olympique de Marseille 2-2 AS Monaco
The game started at an electrifying pace with a goal at either end inside the first ten minutes. Monaco struck first, with Keita Baldé capitalising on several missed interceptions to steer the ball past Steve Mandanda in the home goal (4') before Adil Rami headed Florian Thauvin's cross beyond Mandanda's opposite number Danijel Subasic for 1-1 (7'). The pace settle after that, though Marseille looked the more likely to take a lead into the interval. Thauvin sold France teammate Djibril Sidibé a dummy before crossing for Dimitri Payet, but the OM captain fired high (28'). Valère Germain was then stopped when one-on-one with Subasic (35') before Thauvin came close to an 11th goal of the campaign with an attempted lob (44').
The second half started as frenetically as the first had, and less than five minutes after Germain had given Marseille the lead for the first time in the game - stooping to head home a Payet cross (47') - his former employers were back on level terms when Fabinho danced past Hiroki Sakai and slotted low beyond Mandanda (51'). With momentum on their side, the principality outfit had the ball in the net again soon after, but Jemerson's header was ruled out for off-side (56'). Germain and Sanson had chances to steal all three points late on but the former' half-volley flew wide (79') before the latter's shot curled over (83') and it ended 2-2.
THE PLAYER: Valère Germain
Marseille-born but a Monaco youth team player from the age of 15, Germain could be forgiven if his emotions were running high on Sunday night; but instead he put in an assured performance, helping keep the champions on the back foot - especially in the second half - with his lively running. Having plundered five goals in Europe, the 27-year-old is finding his rhythm back home, and is now up to four goals in the French top-flight this term.
THE STAT: 7
Monaco remain undefeated in their last seven matches against Marseille in all competitions. The last time Les Rouges et Blancs tasted defeat at Les Olympiens' hands was in May 2015, when André Ayew and Romain Alessandrini - now of West Ham and LA Galaxy respectively, scored in a 2-1 win for Marseille at the Orange Vélodrome