Marseille hit back for draw
Last Updated: September 20, 2012 8:24pm
Marseille's Loic Remy holds off Ali Kaldirim
Andre Ayew headed a dramatic injury-time equaliser as Marseille fought back from two goals down to salvage a point from their Europa League Group C opener against Fenerbahce.
Fener looked on course for the points thanks to goals from Caner Erkin and Alex but Mathieu Valbuena halved the deficit in the 82nd minute before Ayew's last-gasp heroics earned the in-form Ligue 1 leaders a point.
Fener, who lost in the Champions League play-offs to Spartak Moscow, wasted no time in testing out visiting goalkeeper Steve Mandanda with Alex trying his luck inside the opening 30 seconds with a 20-yard shot.
The home side threatened again on the quarter-hour mark when Gokhan Gonul saw a close-range header blocked before, later in the same attack, Alex fired wide from six yards.
Marseille, for whom Joey Barton was making his debut as they sought to build on their perfect record in Ligue 1, were not so fortunate in the 28th minute though as Fener took the lead.
Erkin and Hasan Ali Kaldirim combined on the left side of the area and Erkin finished off the move by drilling a low left-footed shot through Mandanda's legs from an acute angle.
The home side continued to push forward and recent signing Raul Meireles drilled a shot over the bar before Marseille's Valbuena did likewise at the other end just before the break.
That was a rare Marseille effort in the first half, but they started the second period looking much more threatening as Valbuena again shot over before Andre Ayew headed over.
Andre Ayew went even closer in the 51st minute as his shot from Loic Remy's cross struck the crossbar.
Fener weathered that storm, though, and went 2-0 up in the 57th minute when Alex headed home Mehmet Topuz's cross.
Marseille tried to force a way back into the game and Charles Kabore and substitute Jordan Ayew - on for Barton - were unable to make the most of their chances before Valbuena set up a frantic finale by drilling home with eight minutes remaining.
That looked to be too little too late for the French side as the match entered stoppage time but, in the fourth minute of added time, Andre Ayew got on the end of Valbuena's corner to head home the equaliser.