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Lille close to securing second after Lyon draw

Publish on 05/05/2019 at 00h00 - S. WILLIS

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LOSC took a big step towards securing second place as Christophe Galtier's side drew 2-2 away to rivals Olympique Lyonnais in an entertaining encounter on Sunday evening.

Olympique Lyonnais  2 - 2  LOSC 

THE MATCH

The first meeting of these clubs this season, at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in December, saw them share four goals and they did it again here at the Groupama Stadium. Lyon took an early lead but then found themselves coming back from 2-1 down to get a point through a Léo Dubois strike in the 74th minute.

The home side came into the game six points behind Lille but also behind their local foes Saint-Etienne on goal difference after Les Verts had won 3-2 at AS Monaco earlier in the day. They needed a positive result and they got off to a great start, going in front 11 minutes in. After a Jonathan Ikoné pass was intercepted, OL broke forward and Memphis Depay laid the ball off for Martin Terrier to score against his former club from the left-hand side of the penalty area.

Nicolas Pépé and Loïc Rémy both had chances for Lille in the first half, but they trailed at the interval before getting themselves back on level terms five minutes into the second period. It was a disastrous goal for Lyon to concede as Jason Denayer completely missed an Ikoné cross from the left, the ball bounced off Ferland Mendy and fell for Rémy, who coolly rounded Anthony Lopes to match Terrier and score against his old club. It was just his fifth goal of the season, but his second in as many matches.

Dubois makes amends

There was another defensive nightmare for the home side when they fell behind midway through the second half. Pépé's free-kick from the right should have been cleared by Dubois at the far post, but he let the ball pass across his body and Boubakary Soumaré was on hand to score his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal.

However, Lille - missing influential midfielder Thiago Mendes due to suspension - could not hold on to their lead as Lyon restored parity in the 74th minute. Just on as a substitute, Moussa Dembélé saw his shot blocked just in front of the line by Gabriel, but Youssouf Koné's attempted clearance fell for Dubois and the former Nantes right-back fired home.

Despite that, Lille can be the happier of the two teams. It is still just one defeat in 16 Ligue 1 Conforama games in 2019 for them, and they remain six points clear of third-placed Lyon with a far superior goal difference and only three matches remaining. Automatic qualification for next season's UEFA Champions League seems certain now, while Lyon end the weekend back in third place but are now only one point clear of Saint-Etienne and must go to Marseille next.

THE PLAYER: Léo Dubois

Dubois might have been the villain for the home side as he was caught out at Lille's second goal, but he made up for that by equalising six minutes later. It was his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal since moving to Lyon from FC Nantes last summer.

THE STAT: 11

Lille are now unbeaten in their last 11 away league games, winning seven and drawing four. It is their best ever run on the road in the same season.