French Ligue One Roundup, Oct. 31
Paris Saint-Germain missed the opportunity to go level on points with its fierce rival Marseille after being held to a 1-1 draw at Montpellier in the French league on Sunday.
PSG, which will host third-placed and defending champion Marseille next weekend, wasted several chances as Montpellier rallied from a one-goal deficit to stretch its unbeaten run in all competitions to four games.
"We can have regrets even if the most important thing was not to lose," PSG midfielder Claude Makelele said. "With a bit more self-confidence we should win this kind of games. We also need to do things more carefully if we want to succeed."
On a pitch made heavy by the rain, Ludovic Giuly opened PSG's account in the 37th minute and struck his first league goal of the season just four days after scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory at Lyon in the League Cup.
The former Barcelona winger made the most of some scrappy play in the box after Montpellier defenders failed to clear the ball and slotted home from close range with a left-foot powerful shot in the 37th minute.
Montpellier reacted quickly and striker Olivier Giroud went close with a left-foot shot which hit the left post.
Rene Girard's team kept attacking and was rewarded three minutes before half time when playmaker Marco Estrada fired an first-time, low shot from outside the box which beat PSG goalkeeper Apoula Edel on his left.
PSG dominated possession after the interval but lacked the finishing touches. Antoine Kombouare's team should have scored when Montpellier defender Cyril Jeunechamp cleared France striker Guillaume Hoarau's precise header off his line in the 56th with goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren beaten.
Following a swift counterattack, Hoarau then sent a header against the post from Giuly's cross in the 67th and Nene blazed his shot over the bar from the rebound.
Montpellier remained sixth in the standings with 18 points, two more than PSG.
The showcase match between Marseille and Rennes originally scheduled for Saturday was again postponed after torrential rain left the pitch flooded at the Stade Velodrome.
Match referee Freddy Fautrel inspected the turf on Sunday morning and said the game would not kick off at its rescheduled time of 5 p.m. local time. More heavy rain was predicted for the afternoon. A new date has yet to be announced for the game.
"The priority has to be the safety of the players," said Marseille sporting director Jose Anigo. "In certain areas of the pitch there is so much water that the ball does not move. We would have loved to have played the game and were desperate to do so, but it would have been stupid to risk an injury to one of the players."
Rennes is second in the league, two points behind surprise leader Brest, which tops the standings with 21 points. Defending champion Marseille is third with 18 points.
Another game, Monaco against Bordeaux, was also postponed because of heavy rain in the area.
Earlier Sunday, Lille's winless run in the league stretched to three games after it was held to a 1-1 draw at northern rival Valenciennes.
There were few chances for either team until Valenciennes 'keeper Nicolas Penneteau scored an own goal in the 87th minute when the ball bounced off his back and into the net after Moussa Sow's shot hit the woodwork.
Valenciennes striker Gregory Pujol scored the equalizer from close range a minute later after Lille goalkeeper Mickael Landreau failed to hold onto the ball from a free kick.
Lille, which lost its two previous matches, stayed eighth in the standings with 15 points, one more than 11th-placed Valenciennes.