Olympique de Marseille blew a two-goal lead and required a late Florian Thauvin goal just to earn a point from a 3-3 draw at EA Guingamp on Friday.
EA Guingamp 3 - 3 Olympique de Marseille
This match was brought forward by 24 hours to aid Marseille in their preparations for next Wednesday's UEFA Europa League final against Atlético Madrid, although the trip to the Stade Municipal du Roudourou was also vital to their hopes of a podium finish.
The evening started superbly for Rudi Garcia's side, as they found themselves two goals in front inside 14 minutes in Brittany. First, the game was less than 90 seconds old when Thauvin's chipped cross in from the right was headed home by Valère Germain. And then Thauvin himself headed home from a Lucas Ocampos cross to double the lead before a quarter of an hour had been played.
However, Guingamp got themselves back into the game late in the first half with a goal on the counter-attack, Clément Grenier finishing after Jimmy Briand's shot had crashed back off the bar (42'). And Grenier got his and Guingamp's second of the night seven minutes after the restart, scoring from the spot after Ocampos had been penalised for handball (52').
Mandanda sent off
Marseille's night was turning into a nightmare as goalkeeper Steve Mandanda was sent off in the 66th minute, receiving a straight red card for bringing down Briand in the area. On came Yohann Pelé, but his first task was to pick Briand's penalty out of the net (70').
Nevertheless, OM showed resolve to come back and snatch a point with 10 men. Thauvin made it 3-3, meeting Bouna Sarr's cross with a fine first-time finish.
The result means Marseille are now seven Ligue 1 Conforama games unbeaten, but the draw means they remain fourth and are now relying on slip-ups from Olympique Lyonnais and AS Monaco to keep their top-three hopes alive. And next up for Garcia's men is that European final.
THE PLAYER: Florian Thauvin
Dimitri Payet did not play in Brittany, with Rudi Garcia preserving him for next Wednesday. In his absence, Thauvin wore the captain's armband and was outstanding with an assist for the opener followed by a brace. He has now scored 22 league goals this season.
THE STAT: 30
Jimmy Briand's strike from the penalty spot was his 11th of the season, and his fifth in six games. It was also his 30th Ligue 1 goal for Guingamp since signing in 2015.