Marseille have overcome a terrible mistake by goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to earn a 1-1 draw at Nantes in Ligue 1.
The match between two of French soccer’s most storied clubs sharing 17 titles – nine of them for Marseille – was a very drab affair in the first half.
That changed shortly after the break when Mandanda, France’s No.2, gifted Nantes the lead.
He misjudged a back pass from Alvaro Gonzalez and totally missed the ball as he tried to kick it out, allowing midfielder Ludovic Blas an easy tap-in.
Dimitri Payet rescued a point when he finished powerfully from Yuto Nagatomo’s left-wing cross midway through the second half.
The match ended with a late red card for Marseille right back Hiroki Sakai, who was sent off for a dangerous high tackle.
Marseille remain in sixth place with Nantes still firmly in the relegation battle.
Earlier in the day, substitute Charles Abi struck late to earn Saint-Etienne a 1-1 home draw with Reims and extend their unbeaten run in the league to five games.
Abi pounced from close range in the 88th minute after Reims’ Marshall Munetsi headed off his line after a free kick and the ball fell kindly to him.
Saint-Etienne should have stolen all the points in stoppage time but striker Denis Bouanga hastily shot wide from just metres out.
In an even contest between sides hovering just under mid-able, El Bilal Toure headed Reims ahead in the 71st from Moussa Doumbia’s cross.