Stade de Reims came from two goals down to salvage a draw in a thrilling encounter at home to Amiens SC on Saturday.
Stade de Reims 2-2 Amiens SC
Amiens came into the game just above the bottom three, but had won the first meeting between the pair this season 4-1. Reims, however, had tightened up considerably since then — they boasted the third-best defence in the division before kick-off — and they dictated the opening exchanges.
David Guion's side, who were unbeaten in ten matches and had won their last two, set the tone of the game, but were never able to trouble a compact Amiens rearguard in the first half while Saman Ghoddos was a constant menace to the hosts.
Sehrou Guirassy has also shown himself to be a useful acquisition to the Amiens squad, and when the January arrival from Cologne challenged Thomas Foket for a high ball in the box, he forced the Reims defender to handle the ball and Moussa Konaté happily scored from the spot (39').
Hope turned reality
It got worse still for Reims before the break. Thomas Monconduit's ball found Chieck Timité in space, and his shot was deflected past Edouard Mendy by Reims defender Yunis Abdelhamid (44') to give the visitors the ideal platform for what would have been a welcome win.
A Mendy save from Konaté (56') kept Reims in the game, and meant that when Boulaye Dia reduced their arrears twenty minutes from time — turning Arber Zeneli's cross in from close range — the hosts had hope (70').
That hope turned reality when Mathieu Cafaro took a touch on the edge of the box before sending a powerful shot beyond Régis Gurtner (84'), and Zeneli might even have won it for Reims had his shot been sneaking inside the post in added time (90+3').
THE PLAYER: Arber Zeneli
The January signing has hit the ground running. Another assist makes it three and a goal in his last three league outings, and he was desperately close to being a dramatic matchwinner.
THE STAT: 11
Reims are unbeaten in 11 top-flight games for the first time since the 1959/60 season.