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Villas-Boas rues ‘missed opportunity’ as Marseille drop points again

Paris (AFP) – Andre Villas-Boas said Marseille’s 1-1 draw with Reims on Saturday was a “missed opportunity” as they failed to move into the top three for the first time this season.

Japan’s Yuto Nagatomo scored an own goal before Florian Thauvin grabbed an equaliser at the Stade Velodrome.

Villas-Boas’ men, who lost to Rennes on Wednesday when Pape Gueye was sent off, stay fourth in the table, four points behind leaders Lille, albeit with a game in hand.

“It’s a missed opportunity and I didn’t expect it after a good performance when it was 11 v 11 at Rennes,” the former Chelsea and Tottenham boss said.

“It’s a blow and we were very disappointed in the changing room.”

Villas-Boas made two changes from the midweek defeat as Nagatomo, Japan’s second-most capped player, and Alvaro Gonzalez came into the starting line-up.

The visitors’ boss David Guion changed formation from Wednesday’s victory over Nantes, picking a five-man midfield as Mathieu Cafaro, who scored the winner, came in on the right.

Nagatomo, making just his fourth start of the season, made the error for the opener on 21 minutes.

Arber Zeneli played a low cross into the box and Nagatomo deflected the ball into his own net.

The former Inter Milan left-back’s performance then took a further turn for the worse with a yellow card five minutes later for a challenge on French attacker Cafaro.

Thauvin brought the sides level just before the interval when the French forward prodded home Dario Benedetto’s wayward header.

Japan right-back Hiroki Sakai and France playmaker Dimitri Payet attempted to claim late winners but the outfit from the Champagne region held on for a point.

Earlier, Opa Nguette and Farid Boulaya scored in Metz’s 2-0 win over Lens to send their side up to eighth.

Later on Saturday, Lyon can go top with a win over 11th-placed Nice.

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