Posted: Monday 8th October 2012 at 0:11 am

Gignac matches Ibra as Marseille hold PSG

PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic vies for the ball with Marseille’s Charles Kabore

Andre-Pierre Gignac matched Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal for goal to earn Marseille a 2-2 draw at home to Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday and keep OM three points clear of their arch rivals at the top of Ligue 1.

All the goals came in the first half at Stade Velodrome, with Gignac scoring either side of a stunning quick-fire double from Ibrahimovic, whose eye-catching contribution masked a listless performance from his side.

“After the second goal, we could have won. We were on top, but after that, we weren’t in control of the match,” said PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti.

“We didn’t play a great match. There was nothing exceptional. We should have kept trying to score and we didn’t play with much intensity.

“But there was the match on Wednesday (a 1-0 loss at Porto in the Champions League), and then the journey afterwards.”

PSG remain unbeaten in the French top flight this season, but Marseille showed enough to suggest that their storming start to the campaign is not about to fizzle out.

“We tried to play our hand as best we could and impose our game,” said Marseille coach Elie Baup. “We didn’t make any calculations about the result. We needed to keep defending even as we went forward.”

Having seen their perfect Ligue 1 record destroyed by a 4-1 defeat at Valenciennes last weekend, Marseille righted the ship by thrashing AEL Limassol 5-1 in the Europa League on Thursday, and they began in positive fashion against PSG.

Gignac fired over after deftly eluding Thiago Silva in the fourth minute but 13 minutes later he found the target, wriggling away from Christophe Jallet and planting a low drive into the bottom-left corner.

PSG’s lethargy evoked unwelcome reminders of their 3-0 capitulation at the Velodrome last season, but they were quickly shaken out of their slumber by the brilliant Ibrahimovic, who took his tally for the season to nine league goals.

The giant Swede scored twice in the space of two minutes to turn the game in PSG’s favour, equalising with an audacious volleyed back-heel from Maxwell’s corner in the 23rd minute and then ripping a ferocious free-kick past Steve Mandanda from 25 yards.

Ibrahimovic’s breath-taking intervention was a stark reminder to OM of the new financial dimension in which their foes now operate, but Gignac headed home his second from a Mathieu Valbuena corner to ensure parity at half-time.

Tempers flared at the interval, with Morgan Amalfitano fortunate to escape sanction for a slap on Blaise Matuidi, while Ancelotti opted to introduce Kevin Gameiro in place of the disappointing Javier Pastore.

Gameiro and Andre Ayew spurned chances at either end early in the second period, but the game dipped in intensity thereafter as both sides seemed to settle for a point.

Earlier, Lyon were held to a 1-1 draw at Lorient in an open and entertaining game at Stade du Moustoir that left Remi Garde’s side in third place.

Lyon hit the woodwork twice before Bafetimbi Gomis volleyed them ahead in the 23rd minute, with Jeremie Aliadiere equalising early in the second half when he converted Benjamin Corgnet’s low cross following a slick move down the Lorient right.

Lyon finished the weekend one point below PSG, while the impressive Lorient are a point further back in fourth, having extended their run of games without defeat to eight matches.

In the lunch-time game, Bordeaux preserved their own unbeaten record in Ligue 1 with a 1-1 draw at Brest that left Francis Gillot’s side in sixth place.

©2011 AFP

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