Ludovic Ajorque, Lille, Strasbourg
Match Reports

Celik fires Lille past Strasbourg

Celik fires Lille past Strasbourg

Match Reports
Publish on 04/24 at 18:55

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Zeki Celik struck three minutes from time as LOSC got back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over European aspirants RC Strasbourg Alsace.

LOSC 1-0 RC Strasbourg Alsace

 

THE MATCH

 

Burak Yilmaz returned from suspension to take his place in the Lille attack alongside Jonathan David, and he came close to his fifth goal of the campaign early on, but Matz Sels thwarted his powerful attempt (4'). Strasbourg came into this meeting four places and eight points better off than the recently deposed Ligue 1 Uber Eats champions, though, and they grew in influence as the first half wore on. Gerzino Nyamsi saw a shot deflect wide (11') and Adrien Thomasson should have done better when he was picked out on the edge of the box by Ajorque, but his effort was too tame to test Léo Jardim (27'). Ajorque then had the chance to make it 1-0 himself, rising highest at the back post to meet a Thomasson cross, but his header hit Jardim on the head and went out for a corner (36'). Renato Sanches might have given Lille the lead against the run of play towards the end of the half, but he fired wide (42'), and it was goalless at the break.

 

Celik makes the difference

 

Strasbourg started the second half as they had the first - as the stronger side - and Kévin Gameiro was only the width of the post away from giving them the lead when he connected with Frédéric Guilbert's free-kick soon after the restart (49'). The former Paris Saint-Germain and La Liga veteran had another good chance inside the hour when he was found by Ajorque in the box, but this time Jardim proved equal to his effort (57'). Gabriel Gudmundsson tried to keep the visitors honest soon after, but his volley was comfortably collected by Sels (66'). Jardim had to be on his toes at the other end to keep another Thomasson effort out (75') before tipping Nyamsi's goal-bound header over his crossbar (80'). Lille would have the final say, however, with Celik meeting Timothy Weah's cross to force home the winner (87').

 

THE PLAYER: Léo Jardim

 

Celik may have got the winner, but this victory would have been impossible without Jardim. The Brazilian wasn't even Lille's first-choice goalkeeper at the start of the season, but he has gone from strength to strength since winning his individual battle with Ivo Grbic and having helped fend off 11 attempts on his goal, deserves all the praise that will surely come his way.

 

THE STAT: 8

 

Lille are now undefeated in their last eight matches against Strasbourg in all competitions. The last time le Racing got the better of les Dogues was back in October 2018, when they beat them 2-0 in the third round of the Coupe de la Ligue on the way to lifting that season's trophy.


FC Nantes 5-3 Girondins de Bordeaux

 

FC Nantes came from behind to take all three points in an eight-goal thriller with relegation-threatened Girondins de Bordeaux at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

 

Bordeaux had dropped eight of the last possible nine points coming into this one, but they raced into a first-half lead with M'Baye Niang (6') scoring the opener before assisting Javairo Dilrosun (18') for the second.

 

The floodgates opened in the second half, though. Although Enock Kwateng (67') was able to answer a Ricardo Mangas own goal (51'), Nantes trio Coulibaly (72'), Moses Simon (76') and Osman Bukari (89') were all able to find the target around a missed Jimmy Briand penalty at the other end (88') and it ended 5-3.

 

Clermont Foot 63 2-2 Angers SCO

 

While Bordeaux dropped points, Clermont Foot 63 were able to keep their heads above the parapet at home to Angers SCO, battling back from two goals down to draw 2-2.

 

Angers looked to be cruising when Mohamed-Ali Cho (37') and Ismaël Traoré (44') goals saw them carry a 2-0 lead into the break, but Mohamed Bayo (71') and Lucas Da Cunha (82') struck inside the final 20 minutes.

 

OGC Nice 1-0 ESTAC Troyes

 

There was also late drama in the Côte d'Azur with OGC Nice leaving it until the 94th minute to get the better of ESTAC Troyes.

 

Khéphren Thuram, who had replaced Hicham Boudaoui just past the hour (65') - fired home the winner with the final kick of the game to keep les Aiglons hot on the heels of RC Strasbourg Alsace in the fifth and final European place.

 

FC Metz 0-1 Stade Brestois 29

 

Stade Brestoise 29 won by the same scoreline at FC Metz, meanwhile.

 

Youcef Belaïli was the best player on the field at the Stade Saint-Symphorien and rewarded with his first goal of the season (27'). Metz's frustration boiled over late on with Jemerson (78') and Alexandre Oukidja (79') both sent off.