Marseille draws with Monaco 1-1, Lens needs a late equalizer
PARIS (AP) — Marseille fell short of a club record ninth straight win in all competitions after drawing at home with Monaco 1-1 in the French league on Saturday.
Veteran Chile striker Alexis Sanchez equalized for Marseille in the 47th minute after an early own goal for Monaco at Stade Velodrome.
Former France playmaker Dimitri Payet almost won it for Marseille near the end when his volley went close. The draw kept third-placed Marseille two points behind second-placed Lens after it drew 1-1 at Troyes earlier.
Victory would have moved Marseille into second place on goal difference.
Monaco started brightly and twice went close before taking the lead in the 17th when midfielder Aleksandr Golovin's free kick was headed into his own net by Marseille midfielder Jordan Veretout.
Monaco 17-year-old midfielder Eliesse Ben Seghir, the latest talent to come from its stellar youth academy, stood out with his excellent touch and ball control. He was paired up front with top scorer Wissam Ben Yedder, who scored a hat trick in the last game, but somehow poked wide of an open goal during the first half.
Sanchez grabbed his seventh goal from close range after left back Nuno Tavares had a shot saved.
Earlier, Lens extended its unbeaten league run to 10 games thanks to a late equalizer from new signing Adrien Thomasson in a 1-1 draw at Troyes.
The attacking midfielder netted from close range in the 88th minute after good work from striker Wesley Saïd. It was Thomasson's second goal in three matches since joining this month from Strasbourg for 4 million euros ($4.3 million).
Lowly Troyes surprised Lens with a rapid attack which led to defender Yasser Larouci's goal in the 50th.
League leader Paris Saint-Germain can move five points clear at the top if it beats mid-table Reims on Sunday.
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Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press