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Marseille held 1-1 at Reims in French league

March 14, 2014

REIMS, France (AP) — Marseille striker Andre-Pierre Gignac scored his 13th goal in the French league this season to salvage a 1-1 draw with Reims on Friday.

Reims midfielder Antoine Devaux headed a cross from Franck Signorino into the top corner to put the hosts ahead in the 67th minute.

But a blunder from Kossi Agassa cost Reims the victory. Gignac tucked the ball into an empty net in the 80th after the Reims goalkeeper failed to punch away a cross from Marseille rightback Rod Fanni.

Marseille remained in sixth place, one point clear of Reims. Securing a Champions League spot will prove difficult for Marseille as last season’s runner-up trails third-place Lille by eight points.

“I’m not satisfied,” Marseille coach Jose Anigo said. “One point is fine, but it’s not what we were looking for.”

Paris Saint-Germain tops the league with an eight-point lead over Monaco. PSG hosts Saint-Etienne on Sunday while Monaco visits Lyon and Bordeaux faces Montpellier.

On Saturday, it’s: Lille vs. Nantes; Ajaccio vs. Guingamp; Evian vs. Valenciennes; Nice vs. Bastia; Rennes vs. Toulouse; and Sochaux vs. Lorient.

Reims dominated possession in the opening minutes but struggled to create clear-cut chances. Mads Albaek curled a free kick straight into the gloves of Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda in the fourth minute before Grzegorz Krychowiak fired a low drive wide in the eighth.

Marseille gradually took control of the match and nearly opened the scoring in the 17th when Gignac connected with a cross from Dimitri Payet but Agassa saved the downward header.

In the second half, Agassa stopped a long-range volley from Gignac in the 60th. The Reims goalkeeper then flapped at a corner in the 63rd but Marseille right back Rod Fanni flicked the loose ball over the bar from five yards.

The hosts had a short spell of domination, forcing Mandanda to deny Reims forwards Nicolas de Preville and Floyd Ayite in the 66th. A minute later, the Marseille goalkeeper could not stop a header from Devaux. However, poor decision-making from Agassa allowed Gignac to equalize.

“That mistake cost us dearly,” Reims coach Hubert Fournier said, “but Kossi Agassa saved us in the first half. It’s a fair draw (.) I have regrets about the first half when we were a bit passive.”

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