LOSC won for the second time in two games in all competitions since appointing Christophe Galtier, beating SM Caen 1-0 thanks to a Nicolas Pépé goal in a match which saw both teams finish with ten men.
SM Caen 0-1 LOSC
Caen started well at their Stade Michel d'Ornano and could have twice pulled ahead inside the first quarter of an hour, but Ronny Rodelin saw a pair of headers pushed away at the last by visiting 'keeper Mike Maignan (12', 13'). LOSC tried to return fire minutes later when Nicolas Pépé let fly, but Damien Da Silva got in the way of the Ivorian's shot (15'). Pépé refused to be denied, though, and with half-time approaching he found the target, latching onto Yassine Benzia's pass and thumping his fifth goal of the season in off Rémy Vercoutre's post (43'). Vercoutre's day went from bad to worse a minute later when he was given his marching orders by referee Johan Hamel after reacting badly to the opener (44'), and the sides went into the interval with the scores at 1-0.
Samba on song
The second half was less than ten minutes old when LOSC saw a sending off of their own, though, with Fodé Ballo-Touré's foul on Rodelin enough for a second yellow (53') following a first-half indiscretion. Lille should nonetheless have put the game beyond doubt soon after the hour mark, but Pépé saw his attempt kept out by Brice Samba, who closed down his angles well (64'). Benzia had another chance late on from a dead ball, but Samba proved equal to that one too (74') and it ended 1-0.
THE PLAYER: Nicolas Pépé
Pépé was a constant thorn in the side of the Caen defence, completing 81 percent of his passes even though they came predominantly in the final third; and flashing a game-high four shots at the opposition goal. LOSC should have little trouble pulling away from danger if the former Angers SCO man continues to put in performances like this.
THE STAT: 7
LOSC have now won each of their last seven away matches in Caen. The last time they came back from Normandy without a point was all the way back in October 2007, when Grégory Tafforeau scored an own goal in a 1-0 loss at the Stade Michel d'Ornano.