Marseille held by Angers despite Balotelli's double strike

Marseille held by Angers despite Balotelli's double strike

PARIS: Olympique de Marseille's hopes of clinching a Champions League spot took a major blow on Saturday when they threw away a two-goal lead in a 2-2 home draw against Angers in Ligue 1.

Mario Balotelli's early double was cancelled out by Thomas Mangani's two penalties either side of the interval as OM stayed fourth on 48 points from 30 games.

They trail third-placed Olympique Lyonnais, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot, by eight points.

Leaders Paris St Germain, who travel to Toulouse on Sunday, have 77 points from 28 matches.

Balotelli found the back of the net after four minutes, firing home from Florian Thauvin's cross, the goal being allowed following a VAR review after the Italian had been flagged offside.

He doubled the tally 12 minutes later from inside the box.

But Angers fought back, benefiting from Marseille's erratic defending.

Another VAR review gave Angers a penalty for a Jordan Amavi handball and Mangani converted the spot kick nine minutes from the break.

Amavi then brought down Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Mangani converted his second penalty in the 76th minute.

The hosts' hopes of a late goal vanished when Bouna Sarr was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 78th minute.

Angers, who are 11th on 37 points, came close to claiming all three points when Romain Thomas's injury-time header crashed onto the crossbar.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: Reuters

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