France forward Mathieu Valbuena (right) inspired Marseille's comeback against Monaco on Sunday as the champions narrowly avoided a third defeat in five games, while Bordeaux continued their miserable start to the season with defeat at Nice.
REUTERS - Mathieu Valbuena spared Olympique Marseille further embarrassment in Ligue 1 when he salvaged the champions a 2-2 home draw against Monaco on Sunday.
The France forward scored his team's first goal and was instrumental on the second as Marseille avoided a third defeat in five games this season.
"Playing with France gave me a boost of confidence. When you play for your country, train with great players, you learn fast," Valbuena told French TV channel Canal Plus.
The visitors went ahead after 15 minutes when the unmarked Daniel Niculae fired past Steve Mandanda with an angled shot.
Valbuena equalised three minutes before halftime with a stunning shot from just inside the box that went under Stephane Ruffier's bar following a poor clearance by the Monaco defence.
Park chu-Yuong made it two in the 79th minute minute at the end of a sharp counter-attack, only for Adriano to deflect a Valbuena shot into his own net two minutes later.
France striker Andre-Pierre Gignac thought he had scored the winner for Marseille in injury time but the goal was cancelled out following a foul in the box by Brandao.
Marseille, in 13th place, still trail leaders Toulouse by seven points with unbeaten Monaco in ninth, five points off the pace.
"We deserved to win this game but we made mistakes we should not have made" Marseille defender Vitorino Hilton said.
Monaco coach Guy Lacombe was impressed by the home side.
"Marseille are a very solid, very powerful side," he told Canal Plus. "We were a bit lucky to snatch a draw, good for us."
Marseille will be on home soil again on Wednesday when they take on Spartak Moscow in their opening Champions League game.
Girondins Bordeaux's miserable start to the season continued with a 2-1 defeat at Nice.
The 2009 champions, who lost coach Laurent Blanc, playmaker Yoann Gourcuff and striker Marouane Chamakh during the transfer window, have picked up only four points from five games.
Nice's Gabon striker Eric Mouloungui was the first on target, 10 minutes before the interval, after he collected a through ball from Anthony Mounier to fire past Cedric Carrasso.
Habib Bamogo doubled the tally four minutes into stoppage time from a Didier Digard cross and Anthony Modeste scored a consolation for Bordeaux one minute later from the penalty spot.
Bordeaux were shaky in defence and toothless up front, with Modeste struggling to fill in for Chamakh, who has gone to Arsenal.
"Am I worried? Of course I am," Bordeaux coach Jean Tigana told reporters.
Promoted Stade Brest were held to a goalless home draw by neighbours Lorient.
Date created : 2010-09-13