LOSC dropped points again in their quest for UEFA Champions League qualification, drawing 1-1 at RC Strasbourg Alsace on Friday despite taking the lead through Jonathan Ikoné.
RC Strasbourg-Alsace 1 - 1 LOSC Lille
Lille did not want to cede any more ground to Olympique Lyonnais as the two sides battle it out for second place and automatic Champions League qualification. The northerners had drawn at home to Montpellier Hérault SC last time out and they were without suspended duo Adama Soumaoro and Xeka for their trip to the always boisterous Stade de la Meinau.
The visitors did their best to silence the packed home crowd and Nicolas Pépé fired just wide in the 31st minute before Lille went ahead with three minutes of the first half remaining. Rafael Leão has been in prolific form recently but the young Portuguese striker turned provider, setting up Ikoné, who took a touch before firing home, in off a post after goalkeeper Matz Sels had got a touch.
It was only a second goal of the campaign for Ikoné, and his first since September. However, Strasbourg bounced back after the break and equalised midway through the second half courtesy of Anthony Gonçalves. Adrien Thomasson picked him out in the box, and Gonçalves blasted home from close range. The home side then left themselves exposed at the back as they went in search of a winner, but there was no further scoring as these teams shared the points for the second time this season.
Strasbourg have now gone four games without a win, form that does little to improve the European prospects of Thierry Laurey's team. Meanwhile, Lille are still unbeaten in the league in seven games in 2019, but they are now just five points ahead of Lyon in third and have played a game more.
THE PLAYER: Anthony Gonçalves
The absence of Stefan Mitrovic due to suspension led to Thierry Laurey reshuffling his defence here. Anthony Caci moved inside into a back three, while Kenny Lala moved across to the left wing-back role as Gonçalves played on the opposite flank. It was a first Ligue 1 Conforama start since October 20 for a player who will turn 33 early next month, and he marked the occasion with his second league goal of the season.
THE STAT: 6
Lille fell short in their bid to win six away matches in a row for the first time in their history in the top flight.