The hosts threatened to make the perfect start to the game when Georges-Kevin Nkoudou was gifted the time to take a touch in the box, but he could only drag his shot past the post.
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Jacques Zoua stepped up to find the bottom corner from 12 yards as the away side capitalised on a costly mistake from Mendy.
Michy Batshuayi had missed the chance to respond when he fired straight at Clement Maury, but the striker was on target before the break to equalise with a fine header from Remy Cabella's inviting cross.
Marseille's hopes of taking control early in the second half were dealt a blow when, despite long protests from home players, Abdelaziz Barrada was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on John Tshibumbu.
Poor marking allowed Batshuayi the opportunity to secure the win late on when he collected a cross from Lucas Ocampos, but Maury made the crucial save to ensure that his side walked away with a point.