Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Lucky Lille can thank Lautoa

Publish on 03/03/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


Wesley Lautoa's own-goal gave LOSC Lille all three points with a 1-0 win over unlucky Dijon FCO on Sunday that keeps the northerners on track for a top-two finish.

 LOSC 1-0 Dijon FCO 

With Olympique Lyonnais playing later in the day, Lille knew a win would take them eight points clear in second place, and against a team that started Week 27 second-from-bottom of the table, that looked a straightforward task.

But Christoph Galtier's side, who hadn't played in nine days since a 1-1 draw at RC Strasbourg Alsace, looked rusty in the first half with top scorer Nicolas Pepe slightly off colour.

The 16-goal striker was upstaged by the man behind him, right-back Zeki Celik, whose snaking run into the penalty area past three Dijon defenders was the highlight of the opening half (36').

Nayef Aguerd (34') and Julio Tavares (43') both had opportunities with headers to stun Lille before the interval, but the former put his over, the latter sent his straight into the grateful arms of Mike Maignan in the home goal as Dijon's wait for an away goal - that started in early December - stretched on.

Lille thought they had the ideal opportunity when Aguerd was punished for a foolish tug on the shorts of Pepe, but after awarding a spot-kick, referee Olivier Thual went back on the decision when VAR showed Pepe had been offside in the build-up to the incident (52').

Jonathan Ikoné fired just wide (58') as the hosts upped the tempo and Thiago Mendes sent a curling effort just beyond the post (60') before Ikoné burst onto Jose Fonte's pass and saw his low cross strike Lautoa's shin and fly past Bobby Allain (73').

THE PLAYER: Jonathan Ikoné
The ex-Paris Saint-Germain youth academy man was the spark behind Lille's win. Creative when his teammates were struggling for inspiration, he — along with the unwitting help of Lautoa — kept Lille on course for a top-two finish and UEFA Champions League group stage qualification.

Lille have won all four league games they have played at home against Dijon.