El Ghazi snatches point for Lille against Nice
Anwar El Ghazi grabbed a second-half equaliser as troubled LOSC drew 1-1 with OGC Nice at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Wednesday.
LOSC 1 - 1 OGC Nice
A resurgent Nice arrived back in France's far north to face Lille for the second midweek in a row. They had won on penalties in the Coupe de la Ligue seven days earlier and were now looking for a fifth consecutive Ligue 1 Conforama victory. Top scorer Mario Balotelli was missing due to suspension but Bassem Srarfi came in for his first league start since October and the young Tunisian gave the visitors the lead late in the first half, his low shot from the edge of the box finding the net with the aid of a deflection off Adama Soumaoro (38').
Only a fine Mike Maignan save prevented Jean Michaël Seri from extending Nice's advantage before the break. And, still in the game, Lille came back to equalise in the second half. Yassine Benzia's ball into the box from the left was controlled by substitute Ezequiel Ponce, who then turned and picked out El Ghazi to convert at the near post (68').
The draw was the right result in an even contest, although neither side will be completely satisfied with just a point. Nice lose more ground on the sides above them, who all won, while managerless Lille end 2017 without a victory in their last four games in all competitions. They are in the bottom three at the campaign's halfway stage.
THE PLAYER: Anwar El Ghazi
The former Ajax man marked his return to the starting line-up with the all important goal, his second in LOSC's last three league outings.
THE STAT: 12
Nice are unbeaten away from home against Lille in 12 matches in all competitions now since September 2006. This was their eighth draw in that run.