Lille drop two points in Paris draw
Lille's 0-0 draw on Sunday night with visiting Paris was a case of two points dropped against an uninspired opposition and did little to help either side's fortunes, with both clubs leapfrogged by Toulouse, 1-0 winners over Nantes on Saturday.
Sunday, april 12, 2009
LOSC / Paris Saint-Germain : 0 - 0
With Lille and Paris both in a position to take fourth place with a win, the pressure was on but it was Lille who took up the challenge in more convincing fashion, taking the initiative and creating the lion's share of chances against a Paris side distinctly out of sorts.
Perhaps suffering fatigue after their mid-week UEFA Cup quarter-final against Dynamo Kiev (0-0), Paul Le Guen's men were at pains to find any rhythm going forward but managed to remain solidly organised at the back.
Nonetheless, Lille began to take the upper hand, with Belgian teenage prodigy Eden Hazard grazing the far post with a cheeky lob from the touchline and Brazilian Fernandes Michel Bastos testing Hugo Lloris with a typically dangerous free kick from 25 metres minutes later.
Lille's solid central defensive pairing of Aurélien Chedjou and Adil Rami dominated the aerial game in their area, drastically reducing the threat of imposing Paris centre-forward Guillaume Hoarau.
Going forward however, Lille still lacked the final ball or even just a modicum of luck, notably when after a neat one-two with Hazard, Florent Balmont's shot on the turn was turned back by the upright.
Benin international returned the favour early in the second half, breaking free on the edge of the area and firing an angled shot for Paris's first clear-cut chance of the match.
Lille paled somewhat in the second half, failing to reproduce the attacking incision they showed in the opening term, but Paris also failed to threaten, despite a strong showing from Sessegnon, and the score remained 0-0 at the end of the 90 minutes.
With the upper hand through most of the match, Lille could be forgiven for feeling they lost two points rather than winning one, while Paris can count themselves lucky their hosts failed to make the break.>> Team Sheet