LOSC 5 - 0 Nîmes Olympique
Lille were left frustrated by their visitors in the first half at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy before finding their shooting boots after the break. Loïc Rémy, Jonathan Bamba, Zeki Çelik, Pépé and Rui Fonte all scored as LOSC scored five for the second consecutive home game, a fortnight after their sensational 5-1 victory against Paris Saint-Germain.
Christophe Galtier's side, who have lost just once in 15 Ligue 1 Conforama outings in 2019, are once again six points clear in second place from Olympique Lyonnais, who had ratcheted up the pressure with a 3-2 win at Girondins de Bordeaux on Friday. A podium place seems guaranteed for Lille, and they head to Lyon next weekend in a strong position to secure second.
Mourinho in crowd
It was not always easy for the home side here, however, under the closed roof and with José Mourinho among the spectators. Mid-table Nîmes, with their top-flight status secure and with the pressure off, tested LOSC goalkeeper Mike Maignan twice in the first 10 minutes, from a Téji Savanier free-kick and then from a Denis Bouanga volley.
Florian Miguel was also inches away from turning in an inviting Renaud Ripart cross (23'), while the hosts offered little at the other end. Nevertheless, it was a different story after the break, and Rémy's opener sparked a rout.
Boubakary Soumaré robbed Savanier of possession in midfield before advancing and playing in Rémy, who finished low past Paul Bernardoni for his fourth goal of the campaign (52'). Bernardoni then saved well from Pépé, but Lille increased their lead when a pinpoint Youssouf Koné cross from the left was met by an equally pinpoint Bamba header (64').
There was no way back for the visitors as Thiago Mendes set up Çelik to beat Bernardoni with a delightful lob for his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal in the 71st minute, and substitute Rafael Leão then handed Pépé a tap-in to make it four before Rui Fonte, also on from the bench, fired in the fifth with the last kick of the game after a Pépé free-kick had been stopped by the wall (90+3'). That was also his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal.
THE PLAYER: Nicolas Pépé
Goal number 20 in the league this season for Pépé, who was a handful all afternoon for the away side. What a campaign it has been for the Ivorian international.
THE STAT: 5
Five goals conceded and that is now five consecutive away defeats for Nîmes. It is just as well that they have been performing excellently in front of their own fans at the Stade des Costières.