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Istres upset Marseille ambition

Published: Monday 28 February 2005, 0.31CET
Olympique de Marseille dropped two points in the Ligue 1 title race with a 1-1 draw at home with FC Istres.

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Published: Monday 28 February 2005, 0.31CET

Istres upset Marseille ambition

Olympique de Marseille dropped two points in the Ligue 1 title race with a 1-1 draw at home with FC Istres.
By Chris Burke

Olympique de Marseille let slip two crucial points in the Ligue 1 title hunt with a 1-1 draw at home with basement-club FC Istres, while third-placed LOSC Lille Métropole were held 0-0 by Stade Rennais FC.

N'Diaye opener
Istres dominated a first half in which they could have taken the lead on several occasions. Rafik Saïfi headed just wide and Moussa N'Diaye had a shot well-saved by Fabien Barthez, but N'Diaye was back after the restart to give Istres the lead with a vicious shot on 49 minutes. Laurent Batllès was fortunate to score the equaliser for second-placed Marseille when his deflected effort found its way in seven minutes later, yet the home side were unable to produce a winner and now find themselves eight points behind leaders Olympique Lyonnais.

Lille slump
A further point back from Marseille, Lille will also be cursing their fortune as they registered their third goalless draw in four games. At home against a Rennes side with the worst away record in the league, they struggled to find a breakthrough on a poor pitch that made life difficult for both sides. Lille striker Matt Moussilou had a goalbound header deflected after 25 minutes and Mathieu Bodmer forced Andreas Isaksson into an excellent save towards the end, but Rennes were far from outplayed and deserved their first point away from home in seven league games.

Postponed games
The day's other scheduled matches between AJ Auxerre and Toulouse FC, and FC Sochaux-Montbéliard and FC Metz were both postponed due to the weather conditions.

Last updated: 28/02/05 9.28CET

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