Marseille rally to earn draw with Lyon in temporarily suspended match
Ten-man Marseille returned from a 20-minute suspension in play at the Stade Velodrome to force a 1-1 Ligue 1 draw with Lyon on Sunday night.
With the visitors leading 1-0 thanks to Alexandre Lacazette's first-half penalty, referee Ruddy Buquet was forced to order both sets of players down the tunnel shortly after the hour mark as missiles began to rain down from a section of the crowd.
Marseille, who had lost Romain Alessandrini to a red card following his 43rd-minute challenge on former OM midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, returned first from the changing rooms, with Lyon following closely behind them only to wish they had not bothered as Karim Rekik nodded home a leveller.
The first real chance went to the hosts but Alessandrini could only poke wide following some neat skill from Michy Batshuayi.
That opportunity proved to be a false dawn for OM, though, and the game was turned on its head when Lacazette went down in the area under contact from Steve Mandanda and Buquet pointed at the spot.
Lacazette brushed himself down before confidently sending Mandanda the wrong way to put the visitors ahead on 25 minutes.
And the France international could easily have scored his second moments later but, after the Marseille defence stepped up, the unmarked Lyon No. 10 saw his effort come back off the post.
As challenges began to fly in from all angles, the influential Alessandrini was shown a straight red card for going through the back of pantomime villain Valbuena.
George-Kevin Nkoudou was thrown on at the break for Marseille and his introduction proved catalytic but the former Nantes winger wasted two decent shooting chances early in the second half before the evening turned sour.
Following an earlier incident at the corner flag which saw numerous objects rain down on Valbuena, Buquet decided to call the players off the pitch with little over an hour played after Lyon keeper Anthony Lopes was almost hit by a number of bottles.
After a lengthy break, and numerous warnings to a hostile Velodrome crowd, both sets of players returned with Marseille keen to claw their way back into the game.
They almost did so but for a superb Lopes save when N'Koulou burst clear on goal.
However, from the resulting corner, Marseille got reward for their lively restart with just over 20 minutes remaining when Rekik rose highest in the Lyon area to power a header beyond the unlucky Lopes.
OM continued to create the better chances, despite having a man fewer, and Batshuayi had an excellent chance to steal all three points for his team when Nkoudou's cross fell to him eight yards out - the in-form Belgian could only blaze over.
As the hosts' legs tired Lyon could easily have won it through Valbuena, but the former Marseille man saw his superb volley from just inside the area flash wide of the right post with Mandanda beaten.