Updated: Saturday, 15 March 2014 06:30 | By Agence France-Presse

Stalemate no help to Marseille or Reims

Reims and Marseille drew 1-1 on Friday night in a result that did neither side's European qualification aspirations any good.

Stalemate no help to Marseille or Reims

Reims' midfielder Antoine Devaux (R) vies with Marseille's French defender Rod Fanni during the French L1 football match on March 14, 2014 at the Auguste Delaune stadium in Reims - by Francois Nascimbeni

Antoine Devaux gave the hosts the lead midway through the second period when he headed home a cross from full-back Franck Signorino.

But the 1993 European champions earnt a deserved equaliser 10 minutes from time when France forward Andre-Pierre Gignac tapped home at the back post after Reims goalkeeper Kossi Agassa missed a cross from Rod Fanni.

The result left Marseille eight points off Lille in the final Champions League qualification berth having played a game more, with Reims one point further back.

Marseille are also four points off Saint-Etienne in the Europa League qualifying spot, but again Les Verts have played a game less.

At least Jose Anigo's side ended their two-game losing streak having been defeated by their two fiercest rivals, Paris Saint-Germain and Nice, in their previous two games.

Marseille had the best two chances of the first half but Agassa saved well from Gignac and Benoit Cheyrou.

The visitors again came close after the restart when Fanni fired just over the bar from a Mathieu Valbuena corner.

That Reims took the lead was something of a surprise but Gignac's equaliser was the least Marseille deserved.

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