Marseille, France – Marseille wasted a chance to move level on points with second-place Lyon on Friday after being held to a scoreless draw with Ajaccio at the Velodrome.
Les Phoceens have not found the back of the net in either of their past two league matches after settling for a 0-0 draw with Lyon last Sunday, but had several excellent chances on Friday to break their offensive drought.
The hosts had the best chance of the first 45 minutes in the 26th minute when Andre-Pierre Gignac collected a loose ball just outside the Ajaccio penalty area and ripped a low, right-footed blast, but Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa got down quickly and kept it out with an outstretched left hand.
After the break, Gignac had another great opportunity in the 59th minute when he intercepted a poor back pass in the attacking third and fired a rising shot, but it sailed over the bar,
Marseille controlled play for the run of the 90 minutes, keeping 57 percent of the ball and putting 21 shots in the direction of Ochoa, but only three on target as they were ultimately unable to find a breakthrough.
The result leaves Marseille in third place on 51 points, six behind league- leaders Paris Saint-Germain, while Ajaccio will take a well-deserved point on the road and remain in 13th place with 33 points from 29 matches, six clear of the bottom three.
Second-place Lyon highlights Saturday's slate of games as Les Gones will look to pull within one point of PSG atop the Ligue 1 table when they travel to the Stade Armand-Cesari-Furiani to face Bastia.
Lyon's 0-0 draw with Marseille last Sunday extend the club's unbeaten streak in league play to four straight games, but they have not claimed three points since posting a 3-1 win over Lorient on Feb. 24. Bastia, meanwhile, will look to get back on the winning track after suffering a 1-0 loss to Bordeaux last time out.
Lille will go for its third consecutive league win when it hosts an in-form Evian side on Saturday at the Grand Stade Lille Metropole. Evian enters the match riding a nice wave of momentum after producing its best performance of the season last week in a 5-1 thrashing of Sochaux.
Lorient looks to rebound from a 1-0 setback last time out against Ajaccio when it hosts Brest at the Stade du Moustoir, while Brest will hope to put an end to a brief two-game slide in Ligue 1.
Also on Saturday, defending champions Montpellier will shoot for a bounce-back performance against relegation-battling Troyes after suffering a 2-0 loss to Nice last week. Troyes, though, will be in high spirits after posting a convincing 4-2 win against Reims.
Rounding out Saturday's action, Sochaux welcomes Valenciennes to the Stade Bonal, while Reims plays host to Rennes at the Stade Auguste Delaune II.
Coming off a 2-0 win against Montpellier last week, fifth-place Nice will look to continue its rise up the table with a clash against bottom-of-the-table Nancy at the Stade Marcel Picot.
Also on Sunday in Ligue 1, Toulouse hosts Bordeaux at the Stade Municipal de Toulouse, while PSG rounds out the weekend's action hoping to widen its lead atop the standings by claiming three points in a tough road clash with fourth- place St. Etienne at the Stade Geoffrey-Guichard.