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Ill-disciplined Marseille fight hard for draw against Metz

Marseille moved up to seventh with the point
Marseille ground out a 1-1 draw despite playing over an hour with 10 men against Metz at the Stade Velodrome.

Marseille were looking to return to winning ways after four games without a Ligue 1 win, and Gennaro Gattuso’s side came flying out the traps, bombarding the Metz defence with attacks.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross into the box caused carnage, with Alexandre Oukidja collecting the ball before allowing it to slip out of his gloves after a collision with Samuel Gigot, giving Illiman Ndiaye a tap-in into an empty net. But, in bizarre circumstances, the goal was ruled out for a foul on the Metz goalkeeper.

Minutes later, Gigot caused mayhem at the other end, as he brought down Georges Mikautadze while the striker broke through on goal. Initially, the Frenchman was given a yellow card but, following a VAR review and a consultation with the pitchside monitor, referee Hakim Ben El Hadj upgraded it to a red.

However, despite the man disadvantage, Les Phoceens continued to dominate and Azzedine Ounahi had a fantastic opportunity to open the scoring with a free header in the box. The Moroccan, though, directed the ball straight at the feet of the Metz shot-stopper, bringing the goalless half to an end.

The hosts started the second period as they did the first and within 10 minutes, they broke the deadlock. Aubameyang’s effort from distance was parried by Oukidja right into the path of Quentin Merlin, whose cutback was steered home by Faris Moumbagna. That lead didn’t last long though, as Metz hit back almost immediately when Lamine Camara’s cross was nodded in by Matthieu Udol.

Following an explosive 15 minutes after the interval, neither side were able to maintain the intensity, and instead, the game petered out into a stalemate. Marseille came the closest to a winner through the ever-dangerous Aubameyang, but the forward’s header was cleared off the line.

The point lifts Marseille up into seventh place, albeit having played a game more than all of their rivals for European qualification, while Metz remain in the relegation play-off spot, two points from safety.