Léo Jardim impressed in goal for LOSC against Montpellier Hérault SC on Saturday, but did he do enough to get the nod against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League?
Ivo Grbic has been LOSC's No.1 for most of this season, starting 21 Ligue 1 Uber Eats games to Jardim's three, but after last Sunday's 5-1 reverse to Paris Saint-Germain, Grbic made way for Jardim against Montpellier.
What followed was a superlative performance on Saturday, Jardim making five saves as the French champions bounced back at the Stade de la Mosson, with Xeka getting the only goal of the game. Coach Jocelyn Gourvennec was understandably delighted.
"We needed that win after our last match, which was unusual," he said, reflecting on the Paris game. "It was important come away with a good result. It's always difficult to come to Montpellier, they're a quality opponent and difficult to play against. We had to respond to the physical challenge and be able to play. It was important to reset, to find our true colours, and to have a more solid game."
Lille now welcome FC Metz to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy next Friday before turning their attention to defending champions Chelsea in the Champions League last 16 the following Tuesday. Gourvennec hasn't yet settled on who will keep goal then.
"I felt that Léo brought more freshness to the position," the coach conceded. "But Ivo's got a very good mentality. Léo was decisive in this match, and it wasn't easy for him. This win gives us a breath of fresh air. We have a difficult match at home to Metz followed by the Chelsea game. We mustn't lose focus. We had a difficult week and have responded well."