Cole strike not enough for Lille
Joe Cole scored his first goal in Ligue 1 but French champions Lille were pegged back once again as Kévin Monnet-Paquet's last-gasp leveller earned Lorient a share of the spoils on Saturday.
Cole's arrival in France was greeted with much fanfare, and the England international has so far lived up to his billing - his maiden Ligue 1 strike after 34 minutes will have done little to dampen the enthusiasm over his arrival. However, Rudi Garcia's men have proven unable to hold leads of late, and Monnet-Paquet found the net three minutes into added time to condemn Lille to a fourth successive draw in all competitions.
After a dip in form, the hosts were looking for the win that would give them a boost ahead of next week's Champions League trip to Trabzonspor, and they almost took an early lead when Eden Hazard headed dangerously across goal - Marko Basa narrowly failed to connect inside the six-yard box.
After latching onto Laurent Bonnart's fine pass, Ludovic Obraniak fired just wide of Fabien Audard's goal before Cole broke the deadlock in handsome style. The on-loan Liverpool player picked up the ball some 25 metres from goal before unleashing a shot that Audard had no chance of stopping as it flashed into the top corner.
Gilles Sunu could have brought the visitors level but headed Mathieu Coutadeur's astute cross wide, and Bruno Ecuelé-Manga failed to find the net from point-blank range when a Coutadeur corner was not cleared by the home defence.
After coming to prominence at Le Mans, Coutadeur's potential remained largely untapped at Monaco, but the artful midfielder seems to have found a niche in Christian Gourcuff's masterplan, and rewarded his coach by finally creating the equaliser.
An inviting set-piece again found the Lille defence wanting, and Monnet-Paquet - who came off the bench at the start of the second-half - beat Mickaël Landreau to leave the champions still waiting for a fourth win of the campaign.