Ligue 1

Dijon holds Ligue 1 leader Montpellier

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Saturday, March 3
Dijon 1-1 Montpellier Recap
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More: Ligue 1| Standings|Stats

Jonathan Tinhan struck a late equaliser to save Montpellier from a shock defeat at mid-table Dijon but the 1-1 draw could end up costing Rene Girard's side top spot in Ligue 1.

Dijon looked set to inflict a first defeat of 2012 on in-form Montpellier after taking a 67th-minute lead through Gael Kakuta, but substitute Tinhan salved his side a point with an 88th-minute equaliser.

The result leaves Montpellier two points clear at the top of the standings, but second-placed Paris St Germain could now replace them with a victory over Ajaccio tomorrow.

Montpellier came into the match having won eight of their last nine competitive matches, drawing the other, but they were missing key players with the league's leading marksman Olivier Giroud suspended and midfielder Younes Belhanda injured.

And it was Dijon who looked the more likely scorers early on, with Benjamin Corgnet the first to threaten in the second minute with a shot that drew a good save out of visiting custodian Geoffrey Jourdren.

Brice Jovial then went close with two efforts of his own, firing a fine shot just wide in the 11th minute before again just failing to hit the target in the 26th minute after stealing possession.

Montpellier's only real threat of the first half came from Remy Cabella's powerful left-foot strike in the 33rd minute, but home keeper Baptiste Reynet managed to keep the ball out.

Dijon continued to press after the interval and, after Thomas Guerbert had seen a first-time effort go narrowly over, the hosts took the lead through Kakuta.

Eric Bautheac picked up possession after the Montpellier defence failed to clear their lines and although his thunderous shot came back off the post, on-loan Chelsea forward Kakulta followed up to slot in the rebound.

With their unbeaten run in jeopardy, Montpellier finally started to get going and John Utaka was unlucky not to equalise in the 74th minute when his superb cross-shot crashed against the woodwork.

Reynet then denied Tinhan soon after before Montpellier survived a let-off nine minutes from time when Jourdren kept out Bautheac's header on the line.

That proved to be a vital intervention as, with two minutes of normal time left, the visitors drew themselves level when Tinhan nodded in Marco Estrada's free-kick at the near post.

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