Lille stop rot with Angers draw
A stunning Nicolas de Préville goal salvaged a point for LOSC Lille as they claimed a 1-1 draw at Angers SCO on Sunday.
Angers SCO 1-1 LOSC
LOSC arrived at the Stade Raymond Kopa with no-one sure which of Marcelo Bielsa's sides would turn up: the one that beat FC Nantes 3-0 on the opening day, or the one which had lost its last two outings to Strasbourg and Caen.
Yves Bissouma's ill-judged backpass just three minutes in, which presented Enzo Crivelli with a clear sight of goal, suggested it was the latter, though Thiago Maia's quick-thinking allowed him to shut down the Angers forward and avert early disaster (3').
Pierrick Capelle, in the starting line-up for Karl Toko-Ekambi, whose goal had secured a point at Marseille in Week 3, fired wide (4') before Bissouma did the same at the opposite end (17').
Summer signing Luiz Araujo should have done better than fire across goal having been played in (20') while De Préville, introduced into the team for the injured Yassine Benzia, brilliantly worked space for a shot only to fluff his lines (26').
Blocks from both Thiago Maia (29') and Edgar Ié (45') prevented Angers seriously testing Mike Maignan, back in goal following his ban for the red card he was shown in Strasbourg, before the break. After it, Letellier had to rush from goal to close down Luiz Araujo (53') after he had been teed up by Yves Bissouma's clever backheel.
Maignan pawed away an Angelo Fulgini curler (54') before he was beaten by a fantastic Lassana Coulibaly header (60') — the former SC Bastia youngster escaped his marker to rise above the crowd and head into the far top corner for a first Ligue 1 Conforama goal of his career.
Lille had had a number of opportunities to attack the home back four that they failed to fully exploit, but that cannot be said of De Préville when he was afforded the space to measure a shot on goal.
After looking up, the former Stade de Reims player bent a magnificent curling shot into the opposite far corner of the goal with Letellier rooted to the spot, hoping and praying — in vain — the ball would go wide of the post (68').
Had Bissouma shown the same coolness in the final minute, Lille might have won for the first time since Week 1. However, after bursting into the box and evading a challenge, he snatched at his opportunity, firing high and wide and not particularly handsome (90').
THE PLAYER: Junior Alonso
In a Lille back four which made a number of basic errors, the Paraguay international was flawless. His understanding with Thiago Maia promises much, and his ability to be a calming influence on his team-mates will surely serve what is a youthful Lille team well.
THE STAT: 12
This was Lille's first draw in 12 league matches. They had recorded five wins and six defeats in their previous 11 Ligue 1 Conforama outings.