Marseille see red in Montpellier draw to miss out on top spot
Paris (AFP) – Marseille failed to move top of Ligue 1 on Saturday after Valere Germain’s second goal in as many games salvaged a 1-1 draw against Montpellier in a fiery encounter that saw three players sent off in a stoppage time bust-up.
The match ended in chaos after Boubacar Kamara and Jordan Ferri were shown red cards for their part in a late scuffle before Dimitri Payet was given his marching orders for losing his temper with referee Amaury Delerue after being booked for a trip on Montpellier’s Vitorino Hilton.
Andre Villas-Boas’ side could have moved above champions Paris Saint-Germain with three points in rain-drenched conditions at the Stade Velodrome, but they struggled to recover from Bouna Sarr’s early own goal.
“Dim (Payet) said something to the referee who was very incisive with his red, but for Kamara, it’s unacceptable,” Villas-Boas said.
“We’re going to appeal Bouba’s one, he told me he did nothing.
“The game didn’t deserve to finish like that, I don’t know what happened with the referee for him to lose his head like that and give a red instead of a yellow,” Villas-Boas added.
Montpellier also had two efforts disallowed by VAR either side of Sarr’s unfortunate effort, which gave the away side a 17th- minute lead.
Andy Delort’s 12th-minute finish was Montpellier’s first strike to be chalked off.
Despite beating Mandanda at the back post he was offside from Jordan Ferri’s cross from the right.
The visitors claimed the lead five minutes later from another right-wing cross, Florent Mollet whipping low across the face of goal for Delort with Sarr’s interception ending up in the back of his own net in greasy conditions.
Montpellier were left aggrieved by VAR for a second time shortly after the break when Algeria forward Delort was judged to be offside once again from a cross on 52 minutes.
The hosts drew level with a quarter of an hour remaining.
Payet found Nemanja Radonjic on the left wing who crossed for Germain inside the box.
Goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli went the wrong way and Germain added his second in the campaign after netting against Monaco last week.
Later on Saturday billionaire-backed Nice host winless Dijon in the pick of the ties, while on Sunday PSG travel to Lyon looking to consolidate their position at the top of the league following their 3-0 Champions League victory over Real Madrid in midweek.