Olympique de Marseille failed to hold onto a lead given to them by an early Florian Thauvin penalty as they drew 1-1 at Angers, meaning they failed to climb above Monaco and into the top three.
Angers SCO 1-1 Olympique de Marseille
This was always going to be a tricky outing for OM, sandwiched in between the two legs of the Europa League semi-finals. Rudi Garcia named a strong side, though he rested skipper Dimitri Payet to the bench, and OM could not have begun better, as in the second minute Abdoulaye Bamba fouled Valère Germain, starting ahead of Kostas Mitroglou. Thauvin, OM's top scorer, followed up his semi-final goal against Salzburg with a successful penalty, despite Ludovic Butelle going the right way.
Angers dominated possession after the OM opener and midway through the first half Flavien Tait forced a good save from Yohann Pelé. After Bouna Sarr (36') had gone close with a free-kick for the visitors, Pelé again distinguished himself as hea dealt with a Tait curler (39').
Thauvin (52') took Baptiste Santamaria out of play and the wide attacker's shot was tipped over by Butelle. Thauvin was then withdrawn on the hour, replaced by Portuguese defender Rolando. At the same time, Payet came on for Germain.
Lucas Ocampos (65') spurned a chance that would have given OM breathing space and then things started to become tense for Garcia's team. Thomas Mangani (69') missed an open goal and then Pelé saved Prince Oniangué's volley (75'). The Angers goal had been coming and duly arrived (79') as Tait's free-kick picked out Ismaël Traoré, who scored after getting the better of Ocampos in the air.
The late frustration for OM left them fourth, a point behind Monaco and two back from Lyon. Angers are 14th, six points above the bottom three with three games to play.
THE PLAYER: Florian Thauvin
Thauvin's 20th Ligue 1 Conforama goal of an exceptional season wasn't his most memorable but that statistic - and the fact that he's scored in five consecutive games in all competitions - provided further proof of just why the former Newcastle attacker has been nominated for Ligue 1 Conforama player of the year alongside PSG's MCN.
THE STAT: 39
Angers have not beaten OM at home in the top division for nearly 39 years, since a 3-1 success on August 28 1979.