Marseille robbed of goal in Lyon draw as title bid slips, claims Andre Ayew

Ayew was left baffled by the officials' decision not to award Marseille a goal on Sunday.

Ayew was left baffled by the officials’ decision not to award Marseille a goal on Sunday.

Furious Marseille players claimed they were “robbed” of a potentially crucial victory in the Ligue 1 title race by a controversial refereeing decision late in Sunday’s goalless draw with league leaders Lyon.

Going into the game in third place, three points behind Paris Saint-Germain and a further point adrift of their opponents, Marseille knew victory at the Stade Velodrome — coupled with PSG’s defeat in Bordeaux earlier in the day — would move them up into an automatic Champions League group stage qualification place.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men thought they had scored the goal that would have done so seven minutes from time when Rod Fanni’s header appeared to have crossed the line before Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes could claw it to safety.

However, despite the hosts’ protests, referee Benoit Bastien waved play on.

La preuve par l’image… #OMOL

– Olympique Marseille (@OM_Officiel) March 15, 2015

“It’s inadmissible. If people don’t want us to be champions, they should tell us,” Andre Ayew told reporters . “We’re giving everything. But that’s football. We still have nine matches to play. We’re not going to give up.

“We’ll give everything, but it’s not the first time that it has happened to Marseille. We played a great game, but didn’t win, even though we scored a valid goal. It hurts, it’s hard, but we have to think about what is to come.

“We are four points off Lyon, two off Paris, so it’s still possible. There’s a lot of frustration, especially as we were robbed of a goal.”

Marseille were the better side for much of the game and Andre-Pierre Gignac struck a post before the incident which, according to OM’s Dimitri Payet, may have changed the course of the season.

“We have the impression of being penalised in the race for the title,” he said . “We’ve been working for eight months for that thing to happen at the wrong moment. We knew the details would be important up till the end of the season, but we didn’t think about such a big error.

“It’s disgusting, all the more so because we are powerless. There comes a time when they have to take their responsibilities. It’s as if we had suffered a defeat.”

Marseille would have felt still worse if, following the 85th-minute red card for defender Jeremy Morel, goalkeeper Steve Mandanda had not made two fine saves to keep Lyon at bay.

The France international’s opposite number, Lopes, 24, told Canal+ he had been fouled by Marseille’s Lucas Ocampos as he attempted to save Fanni’s effort.

“I turned round quite quickly to try and recover the ball,” he added. “I struggled to turn around, because Ocampos held me back a bit on the ground. I have no idea whether the ball went in or not.

“The referee took his decision, he didn’t give the goal. All the better for us. I feel that there was a foul, because he stopped me turning round. His foot struck my body, he held my leg. It’s tough to see. The referee took his decision, he didn’t give a foul nor the goal.”

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