Brest ends Marseille's 16-game unbeaten run
PARIS (AP) -- Lille missed the chance to close the gap on second place after conceding a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw at 10-man Rennes on Sunday, and Marseille's 16-game unbeaten run ended with a 1-0 loss at Brest that hampers its bid for a Champions League place.
Defending French champion Lille looked set for a third straight 1-0 win away from home after defender Aurelien Chedjou's first-half goal, but striker Mevlut Erding volleyed home a looping pass from Jean Armel Kana-Biyik in the 90th minute.
Lille remains in third place, but its draw means it is six points behind PSG and seven behind leader Montpellier.
The match turned in Lille's favor when Rennes defender Onyekachi Apam was sent off in the 37th minute. From the free kick, Eden Hazard curled the ball into the box and Chedjou's looping header beat goalkeeper Benoit Costil.
"It was up to us to finish the game off and we didn't do it," Lille 'keeper Mickael Landreau said. "You're always vulnerable in that case and we paid the price. The road is still long but it's two points dropped, which is a shame."
Lille almost doubled its lead moments after Chedjou's goal, when former England midfielder Joe Cole played in Nolan Roux and the striker's shot flew just wide with Costil beaten.
Early on, Landreau was kept busy, keeping out efforts from Kevin Theophile-Catherine, Jonathan Pitroipa, and Kana-Biyik inside the first 20 minutes.
Despite being a player down, Rennes continued to threaten with Landreau saving an effort from Jires Kembo-Ekoko early in the second half.
Rennes missed a great chance to level early in the second half. Erding went clean through but as he shaped to curl the ball past Landreau, teammate Vincent Pajot stole the ball off his foot and shot wide. But Erding punished slack defending when he made a run behind the defense and buried Kana-Biyik's cross from the left.
"We showed in the second half that we have character," Erding said. "You always get rewarded for your efforts and for us it came right at the end."
At Brest, central defender Paul Baysse put the home side ahead when he rose to head in a corner in the 17th minute, and Brest held on in injury time as winger Andre Ayew and right back Rod Fanni both came close to equalizing.
Marseille coach Didier Deschamps was angry that his team did not receive a penalty inside the first minute, when defender Johan Martial appeared to foul Brazilian striker Brandao.
"It was a penalty," Martial conceded. "I don't think I touched the ball when I went to challenge Brandao."
Deschamps felt the incident weighed heavily on the outcome.
"We're not hiding behind that, but after 30 seconds it was a penalty and a red card," he said. "Everyone saw that foul, it doesn't matter if the player admits it now ... if the referee makes the right decision, it's not the same game."
Eighth-place Marseille is now seven points behind Lille, although it has a game in hand on the top seven teams.
"It's our first defeat for three months and it's very frustrating," Marseille midfielder Alou Diarra said. "We weren't talking about the title, but we were thinking about third place. To come away with nothing is a huge disappointment.
"Our chances of finishing third are diminishing," Diarra said. "It's hard to accept because we put the effort in."
Toulouse moved sixth after beating last-place Sochaux 2-0. Defender Aymen Abdennour and striker Emmanuel Riviere scored a goal in each half.
On Saturday, Montpellier beat Bordeaux 1-0 and moved into first place, one point ahead of Paris Saint-Germain which needed an injury-time goal from Guillaume Hoarau to scrape a 4-4 draw at Lyon.
Brest's goal came after center half Nicolas Nkoulou failed to clear the ball properly and it fell to Benoit Lesoimier, whose powerful shot was tipped away for a corner by goalkeeper Steve Mandanda. Baysse then timed his run perfectly to nod home from the corner.
Marseille came close to equalizing in the 31st when striker Brandao headed Jordan Ayew's cross onto the post.
Brest goalkeeper Steeve Elana pushed Fanni's shot from 20 yards onto the post in the 58th, and then got straight back up to save Benoit Cheyrou's shot as the midfielder latched onto the rebound.
In the second minute of injury time, Elana pushed Andre Ayew's downward header away for a corner. Elana then saved Fanni's header and Eden Ben Basat cleared the ball off the line.
Toulouse took the lead in the ninth minute when Etienne Capoue flicked on Paulo Machado's corner and Abdennour gave 'keeper Pierrick Cros no chance from close range.
Cros was to blame for Toulouse's second goal in the 55th. His poor clearance fell to Machado, and he fed the ball to Riviere, who kept his composure to lob the ball over Cros.
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