Paris: Greece striker Kostas Mitroglou netted a late equaliser on his first Marseille start to salvage a point in Sunday's 3-3 draw at Strasbourg as Steve Mandanda made a club record 453rd appearance.
Dimitri Payet gave Marseille the lead on five minutes, but Jean Eudes Aholou's deflected shot pulled Strasbourg level before Morgan Sanson's cross made it 2-1 to the visitors just after the break.
Bakary Kone powered in a corner as Strasbourg hit back and the hosts looked on course for just a second win on their return to the top flight when Dimitri Lienard struck on 74 minutes.
Stephane Bahoken poked against the post with Martin Terrier blasting wide from the follow-up as Strasbourg wasted a glorious chance to wrap up the three points.
It proved costly as Mitroglou, who scored three times on international duty to help Greece earn a World Cup play-off place, pounced on a rebound two minutes from time after a mistake from Bingourou Kamara.
"Mitroglou was involved in almost everything good we did. He can do a bit more and a bit better but you have to give him time. It's a good starting point," said Marseille coach Rudi Garcia.
Mandanda, back in France after an unsuccessful spell at Crystal Palace last season, broke the long-standing record of former midfielder Roger Scotti, who played 452 times for Marseille in a career that lasted from 1942 to 1958.
Despite Mitroglou's late rescue act, Marseille saw their three-match winning run in the league snapped as they finished the weekend eight points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain ahead of next Sunday's showdown at the Velodrome.
"This draw isn't what we were hoping for. We came for something different," said Payet. "We know there's the eagerly awaited game on Sunday (against PSG). We're certainly going to need to do better than tonight if we hope to get a result."
Nice slumped to a second successive defeat as they lost 2-0 at Montpellier after Mario Balotelli and Alassane Plea failed to convert a string of chances in a frustrating first half.
"We had lots of chances to lead by two or three goals, but a match lasts 95 minutes," lamented Nice coach Lucien Favre. "In the second half we struggled to maintain our rhythm that we had in the first half."
Montpellier registered just a third win in nine matches with fine solo efforts from Benin international Stephane Sessegnon, on 54 minutes, and Isaac Mbenza in the final quarter hour.
Bordeaux forward Malcom notched his fifth goal of the season in a 1-1 draw at home to Nantes, who extended their unbeaten run under Claudio Ranieri to seven games.
Published Date: Oct 16, 2017 11:11 AM | Updated Date: Oct 16, 2017 11:11 AM