Unhappy: Metz players react after French referee Jerome Brisard gives a red card to Brazilian defender Jemerson
Marseille were held to a goalless draw by Metz in Ligue 1 on Sunday after failing to make their numerical superiority count following Jemerson’s red card.
Despite laying siege to the Metz goal, Marseille had to settle for a single point that left them in fourth place, 11 points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Until the sending-off, Thomas Delaine had stretched Marseille but all of Metz’s efforts were halted by 36-year-old goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, recalled to the team for the first time for two months.
Jemerson was dismissed for studs-up challenge on Dimitri Payet with half an hour left to play, sparking a frantic finish.
Polish forward Arkadiusz Milik and US international forward Konrad de la Fuente both came close for Marseille without finding the net.
“We struggled,” said Marseille assistant coach Jorge Desio who bemoaned the fixture list that had seen them also play a Europa League game on Thursday.
“Beyond the result, playing every three days requires a lot of energy.”
Nice stay third, also 11 points off the top, after losing 1-0 at home to Montpellier.
Florent Mollet scored the winner for Montpellier 10 minutes from time leaving Nice to regret not turning their domination into goals.
In the first half alone, they forced five corners to none and had 10 shots compared to the visitors’ four.
“We didn’t steal victory,” said Mollet. “We put in a lot of effort to take the three points. We were worried, but we held on.”
Neymar scored twice in PSG’s 3-2 win against Bordeaux on Saturday and dedicated his goals to Marilia Mendonca, a popular Brazilian singer and Latin Grammy winner who was killed in a plane crash the day before.