Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a controversial penalty as Paris Saint-Germain snatched a 1-1 draw at Ligue 1 leaders Lyon on Sunday.
Champions PSG could have gone top with victory but needed a highly contentious retaken penalty just to earn a share of the spoils at the Stade Gerland.
They remain third, two points behind their night’s hosts, and level with second-placed Marseille, who drew 1-1 at Rennes on Saturday.
Swedish giant Ibrahimovic saw his first penalty attempt saved by goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, but he had another chance seconds later when the referee decided Lyon players had encroached on the penalty area too early.
“If you follow the rules, it’s a fair decision. It was a nice game but we should have won it. Lopes had some nice saves but we should have scored,” said the 33-year old striker after the game.
On his second try, he made no mistake, equalising in the 69th minute.
“I stopped the first penalty so it’s tough to see the referee giving a second one. It’s a shame, I don’t know what else to say,” said Lopes.
“There is no anger, just frustration.”
With Ligue 1 top scorer Alexandre Lacazette out injured, the young Lyon side held its own thanks to a fine performance from Lopes.
They even took a surprise early lead through Cameroon youngster Clinton N’Jie on 31 minutes, his second goal of the season, following a clever one-two with Nabil Fekir.
Ibrahimovic lost all of his duels with Lopes while Edinson Cavani and David Luiz both failed to convert chances, leaving coach Laurent Blanc frustrated.
Blanc was left scratching his head trying to find an answer as to how his side managed to fail to win a match in which they dominated possession and created the lion’s share of chances.
“When you have the chances, you need to score because you never know what can happen next”, said Blanc.
PSG pressed relentlessly in the second half and Ibrahimovic came close with headers twice that forced Lopes into excellent saves.
Lyon could even have extended their lead late on but Fekir and Arnold Mvuemba missed good chances.
And the leaders will feel hard done by after that re-taken penalty, despite maintaining their advantage at the top of the table.
“We played a very good PSG side so we’re happy to get that draw. We had to show sacrifice and solidarity,” said coach Hubert Fournier.
Earlier, Monaco’s recent charge up the standings came to a shuddering halt when they conceded a first goal in over 800 minutes to fall 1-0 at ten-man Guingamp.
The result leaves Monaco fifth on 40 points while Saint Etienne, who drew 3-3 with Lens on Friday, have 41 in fourth, but only the top three in France qualify for the Champions League.
In Brittany on Saturday, Swedish striker Ola Toivonen gave Rennes the lead after 26 minutes, smartly chesting down a loose ball to score past Steve Mandanda in the Marseille goal.
Marseille were saved when Lucas Ocampos, the Argentine signed on loan from Monaco in the last moments of the transfer window, found the net in the 59th minute after coming on as a half-time substitute. – Agence France-Presse