There was no separating LOSC and Stade Brestois 29 at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Saturday night, Romain Faivre scoring to cancel out Jonathan David's opener as it ended 1-1.
LOSC 1-1 Stade Brestois 29
Brest came close with an early free-kick, Ivo Grbic doing well to tip Faivre's effort over the crossbar (2'), but Lille dominated much of the first half from there. Xeka - back in the starting line-up having been benched for Wednesday's draw with Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League - should have done better after getting the break of Zeki Çelik's cross into the Brest box, but he fired off target (8'). David showed him how it was done midway through the half, though, latching onto Jose Fonte's long ball forward before sending the ball beyond Grbic's opposite number, Marco Bizot (19'). Les Dogues looked favourites to add to their advantage when Burak Yilmaz met David's cross, but he could only find the outside side-netting (23'). Yilmaz then tried to turn provider for Timothy Weah but the young American's effort was brilliantly saved by Bizot (25'). Brest punished Lille's profligacy soon after, another Faivre free-kick ricocheting off Xeka and nestling in the back of Grbic's net (32').
Neither side made any changes at the break, and it was Brest who carried their momentum into the second half. Faivre had another chance - this time from open play - but Grbic made a smart save to deny him (57'). The Brest playmaker then headed a Jean-Kévin Duverne cross over the crossbar as Lille held on (58'). Weah had another chance at the other end, fizzing a shot narrowly past the post (66'), but Brest will feel they should have pulled clear, Reinildo's arm all that kept Franck Honorat's shot out after fine counter-attacking play from Jérémy Le Douaron (67'). Grbic - signed on loan from Atletico Madrid at the start of the season as AC Milan-bound Mike Maignan's replacement - shone again late in the half to deny Honorat before Steve Mounié sent the rebound over the bar (72'). Lille might have snatched the win late on but Celik and Weah were denied in qui succession (82') and it ended 1-1.
THE PLAYER: Romain Faivre
Faivre was unlucky not to find himself on the winning side here. The former France under-21 midfielder pulled the strings for the visitors and is now up to three goals and four assists for the season despite les Pirates' lowly league position. At this rate, coach Michel Der Zakarian will do will to keep his star player until the end of the season.
THE STAT: 18
David pulled up to seven goals for the season and 18 since the turn of the year. After a slow start to his Lille career, the Canadian has really found his groove - only Kylian Mbappé, with 20 goals for Paris Saint-Germain, has found the target more regularly over the period.