Luiz Araújo came off the bench to score a late equaliser as Ligue 1 Uber Eats leaders LOSC salvaged a point in a 1-1 draw at home to Montpellier Hérault SC on Friday.
LOSC 1-1 Montpellier Hérault SC
Araújo had not long come on in place of Jonathan Bamba when he got Lille’s equalising goal with five minutes of the 90 remaining at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy. Zeki Çelik’s high, hanging cross from the right was taken down at the back post by the Brazilian winger before he stroked a delightful volley with the outside of his left boot beyond goalkeeper Jonas Omlin and into the far corner.
Before that Lille looked set to slip to a second consecutive home defeat after Andy Delort had given the visitors a first-half lead. The striker stooped at the back post to head home Gaëtan Laborde’s cross from the right midway through the first half for his 12th goal of the campaign (21’).
Lille then toiled as they went in search of an equaliser, coming closest when Benjamin André’s low strike from the edge of the area came back off the post just before the hour mark.
The result ensures that Christophe Galtier’s side will remain top of the table after Round 33, but reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain can cut the gap to a single point if they win at home to AS Saint-Etienne on Sunday. Lille have now taken just six of the last 15 points available at home, and this result will also give renewed hope to AS Monaco and Olympique Lyonnais as the title race intensifies. Lille go to Lyon in a huge game next Sunday.
THE PLAYER: Luiz Araújo
The Brazilian is often used as a substitute by Christophe Galtier and he showed what an impact he can have in that role as his late equaliser secured Lille a precious point. It was his fourth league goal of the campaign but his first since November.
THE STAT: 11
Montpellier are now unbeaten in 11 league games, although they have drawn seven of these matches and that could cost them a European place come the end of the campaign.