Draw at Ajaccio
Ajaccio and Montpellier remained languishing in the bottom half of the standings after battling out a 1-1 draw.
Last Updated: 29/09/13 6:41pm
Ajaccio and Montpellier remain languishing in the bottom half of the Ligue 1 standings after battling out a 1-1 draw at the Stade Francois Coty in a match which saw both sides reduced to 10 men in the first half.
The hosts had midfielder Claude Goncalves sent off in the eighth minute for deliberate handball and Remy Cabella made no mistake from the resulting penalty to give Montpellier the lead.
Ronald Zubar equalised for Fabrizio Ravanelli's side in the 36th minute, though, and then Montpellier defender Yassine Jebbour saw red for a second bookable offence two minutes later.
The result lifted Ajaccio to Montpellier to 16th and 11th positions, respectively, albeit the former only outside the relegation zone on goal difference and the latter just two points better off.
Ajaccio secured their first league win of the season with a shock midweek triumph over Lyon, but could hardly have made a worse start on Sunday afternoon.
Souleymane Camara's shot was blocked by the hand of Goncalves, who was duly dismissed, and Cabella coolly despatched the right-footed spot-kick past Guillermo Ochoa.
The home team responded well and could have equalised two minutes later but were denied by the woodwork as Zubar's powerful far-post header from Johan Cavalli's free-kick smashed against the bar.
Ochoa was forced into action to keep his side only one down in the 14th minute, deflecting the ball away from a corner after Morgan Sanson's snap-shot from Cabella's neat pass.
Ajaccio again went close in the 26th minute as the game continued to flow from end to end, Paul Lasne's left-footed shot from Salim Arrache's cross skimming the post.
The equaliser arrived nine minutes before half-time, Zubar connecting with Cavalli's free-kick to nod past Geoffrey Jourdren.
And it was all square in terms of personnel moments later as well, Jebbour receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Stefan Popescu.
Montpellier raised their game after the break and had the bulk of the second-half chances, but were unable to find a winning goal.
Ochoa blocked Daniel Congre's header from Cabella's free-kick 10 minutes after the restart, and the Mexican goalkeeper was on hand again to keep out a curling free-kick from Cabella midway through the second half and then Hilton's downward header from Anthony Mounier's corner with 16 minutes remaining.
Ajaccio's only noteworthy opportunity of the second period arrived in the final minute when substitute Aboubacar Camara burst down the left and crossed for Lasne, but Jourdren was equal to his effort and the spoils were shared.