Lorient overturns three-goal deficit
PARIS, France ● Gilles Sunu struck in the dying seconds as Lorient overturned a three-goal deficit to share a 4-4 draw with Ajaccio in a pulsating encounter at Stade de la Route de Lorient.
The visitors looked to have wrapped up the points at half-time thanks to Chahir Belghazouani, Adrian Mutu and an Eduardo Dos Santos double, with Wesley Lautoa’s effort looking decidedly lonely for Lorient.
The headline Ligue 1 match between third and fourth placed sides Marseille and Lyon was postponed on Sunday because of violent winds sweeping the Marseille region.
Marseille could have gone back equal on points with Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint Germain had they beaten cash-strapped Lyon, who are just a point adrift of their opponents ahead of the match.
Lyon would have fancied their chances of pulling off a result at the Stade Velodrome as despite their financial worries they have not lost in any competition since September 30.
Marseille on the other hand lost to struggling Troyes last Sunday, have leading striker Andre-Pierre Gignac out for several weeks with a fractured left foot and lost to German outfit Borussia Moenchengladbach on Thursday in the Europa League.
“At a meeting at the stade Velodrome, the regional security commission said they were not in favour of the match going ahead,” a statement on the Marseille website read.
“The match has been postponed to a date yet to be decided.”
So strong were the winds that they badly damaged a large ferry owned by the National Corsican Company, the “Napoleon Bonaparte”, which crashed against the Marseille dock.
The flooded vessel, which can carry 2,650 passengers and 708 vehicles, was still tilted on one side in the harbour on Sunday afternoon and was waiting to be “stabilised”, Hugues Parant, the prefect of Marseille.
However, Jeremie Aliadiere sparked the second-half fightback with a brace of his own before Sunu’s goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time sealed an unlikely point.
Lorient were looking to erase memories of last week’s 6-1 mauling at the hands of Valenciennes, but conceded within a minute of kick-off when Belghazouani picked up a loose ball in the area before planting a shot into the top corner.
A second goal then arrived in the 12th minute, with Mutu meeting an Eduardo delivery with a stunning right-footed volley which left goalkeeper Fabian Audard stranded.
Lorient managed to get themselves on the scoresheet after 33 minutes through Lautoa, who provided a close-range finish to a ball from Alain Traore.
However, Ajaccio went from strength to strength with two more goals before the interval.
Eduardo escaped his marker after 39 minutes to find the corner with his right foot and the former Arsenal striker found the target again on half-time, picking up a pass from Sigamary Diarra before firing past Audard.
Lorient reduced the deficit within a minute of the restart when Maxime Barthelme’s ball into the area was powered low into the net by Aliadiere.
However, Ajaccio came within a whisker of scoring a fifth after 62 minutes only for Mutu’s effort to come back off the post.
That was a big let-off for Lorient and one Ajaccio would come to regret.
The home side closed the gap to one goal 12 minutes from time when Aliadiere scored his second of the match, tapping in a headed assist from Ludovic Giuly.
And Lorient’s late pressure produced an equaliser with almost the final kick of the match as substitute Sunu met a cross from Traore before sweeping home with the inside of his right boot.