Alberto Costa's last-gasp equaliser kept Montpellier Hérault SC level on points with FC Girondins de Bordeaux at the Ligue 1 summit just as the defending champions had looked set to record an ominous victory despite an early red card and conceding two penalties.
There was drama aplenty at the Stade Chaban-Delmas, where Laurent Blanc's men had looked destined to record the kind of result that can define a season. The UEFA Champions League hopefuls were reduced to ten men after just 32 minutes, when Michaël Ciani impeded Víctor Montaño, but they were spared further punishment when Cédric Carrasso denied Costa from the spot. The home side's No1 then repeated the feat close to half-time, keeping out Montaño's retaken spot kick following Matthieu Chalmé's handball.
Having soaked up that pressure, Bordeaux took the lead with 59 minutes gone, Marouane Chamakh making the most of lax marking to find the back of the net from the edge of the area. Montpellier's heads dropped after that, yet they were able to conjure a response four minutes into added time, when Costa made up for his penalty miss with a low free-kick that wrong-footed Carrasso. Blanc's men nonetheless boast two games in hand.
Olympique de Marseille spurned the opportunity to move into the top three and the UEFA Champions League qualifying spots with a 1-1 draw at home against FC Lorient. Ligue 1 top scorer Mamadou Niang fired his 15th effort this term to put Didier Deschamps's side ahead with 43 minutes gone, turning in a low Laurent Bonnart centre, but the hosts were pegged back shortly beyond the hour mark when Laurent Koscielny turned in after Steve Mandanda had palmed his header on to a post.
In Sunday's other encounter, basement outfit Grenoble Foot 38 drew 1-1 with third-bottom Le Mans UC 72, who lie five points from safety.
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|Last updated: 03/07/2011 05:16 CET|
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