Monaco - Cesc Fabregas got off to a
positive start in his debut for struggling Ligue 1 side Monaco after
his side gained a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Marseille at a tumultuous
Stade Velodrome on Sunday.
Fabregas, who joined the Principality
club from Chelsea on Friday, struck a composed figured in the midfield
as Thierry Henry's side recovered from a shaky start to earn a point
thanks to Youri Tielemans' leveller six minutes before the break.
The World Cup winner almost laid on a winner for Tielemans
in added time with a trademark clipped pass but the Belgium
international hesitated on the ball and ended up shooting a presentable
opportunity to snatch a rare victory well wide.
on the Mediterranean coast on Friday was the third in January after
veteran defender Naldo and France under-21 left-back Fode Ballo-Toure,
who both acquitted themselves well on Sunday.
The draw was a good
result for a team without a fit striker and not enough available players
to even fill the substitutes' bench.
They remain in the
relegation zone despite the positive performance and are four points
from safety after winning just twice in 10 league games since Henry's
arrival in October.
However they have been slightly helped in the
quest for survival by Paris Saint-Germain battering fourth-from-bottom
Amiens 3-0 on Saturday and Caen in 16th losing 3-1 at home to Lille.
Marseille began the match amid protests from fans about their own poor
form which sees them down in ninth, 22 points behind runaway leaders
Rudi Garcia's side are winless in eight in all competitions
and as well as being well back in the league are out of all three cups
after being humiliated 2-0 by fourth-tier Andrezieux in the French Cup
They were eliminated from the League Cup last month by
Strasbourg and finished an embarrassing Europa League group stage with
just one point.
Fans head up a banner that read "owners, coach,
players... all culpable" and barely celebrated Maxime Lopez's 13th
minute opener, which squeezed under a poor effort to save the shot from
Midway through the second half they shouted "ole"
when Monaco kept possession and whistled their own players when they won
the ball back.
When Thuavin netted what he thought was the
winner 20 minutes from the end he remonstrated with supporters behind
the goal who refused to cheer, drawing loud boos that were only beaten
in volume when referee Mikael Lesage ruled the goal out for a foul from
Lucas Ocampos on Benaglio.
Earlier on Sunday Montpellier slipped
further back from the Champions League places with a 1-1 draw at
third-from-bottom Dijon, while Strasbourg continued their claim for a
European place with a 2-1 win at Toulouse.