Lille come from behind twice to hold Nantes
Nicolas Pépé's late equaliser earned LOSC a 2-2 draw with FC Nantes at the Stade de la Beaujoire on Sunday, after Emiliano Sala had netted twice for the home side.
FC Nantes 2 - 2 LOSC
Nantes were looking to revive their bid for European qualification after a disappointing 3-2 defeat at SM Caen last weekend, and Claudio Ranieri's side went in front early on with a goal that said everything about their hunger. LOSC captain Ibrahim Amadou was hounded out of possession in his own half, and Valentin Rongier and Adrien Thomasson combined to set up Sala, the Argentine planting a low shot into the net (16').
That was the first goal Nantes had scored against Lille in 551 minutes in all competitions, more than nine hours.
It was also all that separated the sides until a dramatic final quarter. First, Lille equalised when Lebo Mothiba stole half a yard on his marker David Alcibiade to head in a corner (68'). The South African was making his first appearance for Lille since being recalled from their northern neighbours Valenciennes, for whom he had scored nine times this season.
It took the home side just three minutes to take the lead for a second time, with Sala heading in his second of the game at the back post after a superb cross by Lima from the left flank (71').
Nevertheless, Lille were not to be denied a point, as Thiago Mendes sent Pépé clear to curl a low strike past Ciprian Tătăruşanu and into the far corner (81').
Nantes have now won just once in their last seven games in all competitions, although the draw is enough to lift them back up to fifth. Lille, meanwhile, climb back out of the bottom three.
THE PLAYER: Emiliano Sala
He might seem a little ungainly, but the Argentine forward ain't half effective. He has contributed to six of Nantes' last seven goals at home, scoring four and laying in two. His brace here takes him up to 10 Ligue 1 Conforama goals for the campaign, just two off his tally for the whole of the last campaign.
THE STAT: 9
Nantes have failed to win any of their last nine home meetings with Lille in the elite, drawing five and losing four since a 2-0 victory in May 2004.