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Saturday in Ligue 1: Lens miss chance to go level with PSG, Marseille held


Paris, Jan 28, 2023 (AFP) - Lens missed the chance to go level on points with Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1 on Saturday as they needed a late equaliser from substitute Adrien Thomasson to draw 1-1 at Troyes, while Marseille had to come from behind to draw with Monaco.

Lens appeared to be heading for just their second defeat of the campaign after a goal from former Liverpool youth Yasser Larouci put Troyes -- coached by the ex-Australia international Patrick Kisnorbo -- ahead five minutes into the second half.

Yet Thomasson, a January signing from Strasbourg, came off the bench to prod in a rebound two minutes from time and earn Lens a draw at the Stade de l'Aube.

The result leaves Lens two points behind leaders PSG, who host Reims at the Parc des Princes on Sunday evening.

Marseille could have moved above Lens on goal difference when they played Monaco in Saturday's late game but they also dropped points in a 1-1 stalemate.

Outclassed in the first half, Marseille were fortunate not to be more than one goal behind at the interval, with Jordan Veretout heading Aleksandr Golovin's set-piece delivery into his own net.

The former Champions League winners were much improved after the restart and got their leveller within 90 seconds of the second half starting.

Arsenal loanee Nuno Tavares saw his shot spilled by Monaco goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel, and ex-Gunner Alexis Sanchez pounced to convert the loose ball.

Marseille could then have won it after that as a Leonardo Balerdi header came back off the crossbar, but their eight-game winning run in all competitions came to an end.

They were left furious at the officials' decision not to award a penalty for a challenge on Sead Kolasinac in the box in the second half.

Coach Igor Tudor called it "unacceptable" and "inexplicable" that the VAR did not intervene.

While they also missed the chance to increase the pressure on PSG, Tudor's team did at least keep Monaco at arm's length in the race for Champions League qualification.

The principality club, who sit fourth, remain five points adrift of OM with only the top three qualifying for Europe's elite club competition next season.

Earlier on Saturday, Marseille announced that they had reached an agreement to sign Moroccan World Cup star Azzedine Ounahi from Ligue 1 rivals Angers.

The fee for the midfielder is expected to be in the region of 10 million euros ($10.9 million).

Reims, whose Belgian-born English coach Will Still is only 30, will be defending a 13-game unbeaten run when they go to PSG on Sunday.

Saturday in Ligue 1: Lens miss chance to go level with PSG, Marseille held
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