The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Marseille ends 5-game losing streak with 1-1 draw at Rennes in French league
PARIS - Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda saved a penalty to help his team end a five-match losing streak in all competitions by drawing 1-1 with Rennes in the French league on Saturday.
Rennes striker Nelson Oliveira pounced on a miscued clearance from Marseille fullback Jeremy Morel to fire home a powerful strike from the edge of the box in the ninth minute for his seventh goal this season.
But Marseille forward Jordan Ayew levelled by converting a low cross from Kassim Abdallah in the 16th.
Mandanda salvaged the draw by stopping a penalty from Oliveira after Abdallah fouled Rennes midfielder Foued Kadir in the 75th.
"We're on the right path," Ayew said. "This result is encouraging because it shows we have a squad with very good players. Now we must play without the handbrake on to start a good run."
Marseille climbed to fifth place, five points behind third-place Lille.
Also, it was: Ajaccio 1, Valenciennes 3; Lyon 2, Guingamp 0; Reims 4, Bastia 2; Evian 2, Toulouse 1; and Sochaux 0, Saint-Etienne 0.
Paris Saint-Germain consolidated its lead atop the league by routing Lorient 4-0 on Friday.
Ajaccio coach Fabrizio Ravanelli was fired following his team's fifth straight loss in all competitions to drop to 19th place.
"It hurts but that's life," Ravanelli told Canal Plus television. "I know that I've tried everything to make it work. But it didn't work. I'm not angry at all."
Valenciennes striker Gregory Pujol opened the scoring in the 26th. But Ajaccio levelled with an own goal from Valenciennes fullback Rudy Mater in the 32nd.
Midfielder Mathieu Dossevi headed in a cross from Pujol in the 68th to give Valenciennes a 2-1 lead before Pujol sealed the win in the second minute of stoppage time.
Valenciennes left last place but remained in the relegation zone.
Lyon moved into the middle of the table with a Pyrrhic victory as it lost midfielder Maxime Gonalons and goalkeeper Anthony Lopes to injury.
Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette capitalized on a poor clearance from the Guingamp defence to score from close range in the 12th and striker Bafetimbi Gomis doubled the lead with a chip in the 13th.
Guingamp substitute Moustapha Diallo was red-carded in the 52nd for his violent tackle on Gonalons.
In Reims, striker Nicolas de Preville put the hosts ahead with a low strike in the 25th. Grzegorz Krychowiak made it 2-0 by converting a penalty in the 44th after Bastia midfielder Julien Sable fouled Floyd Ayite.
Bastia midfielder Romaric pulled one back by heading home a corner in the 48th.
But Reims put the game away with goals from Prince Oniangue in the 50th and Eliran Atar in the 81st to go level on points with Marseille and Saint-Etienne.
Saint-Etienne was down to 10 men in the 27th when centerback Kurt Zouma was sent off for a tackle on Sochaux winger Thomas Guerbert.
Sochaux also lost a man in the 71st as Sochaux fullback Petrus Boumal received a second yellow card for a foul on Saint-Etienne midfielder Benjamin Corgnet.
The draw dropped Sochaux into last place.
In Evian, Cedric Mongongu scored the winner from the penalty spot in stoppage time after Toulouse defender Steeve Yago fouled Pape Sougou.
Serge Aurier initially gave Toulouse the lead by flicking home a corner from Clement Chantome in the 52nd. But Evian defender Daniel Wass equalized with a header in the 61st.
On Sunday, second-place Monaco visits Lille, Montpellier hosts Nantes and Nice faces Bordeaux.
(1 of 50 articles for this week)12/9/2013 8:35 PM 0